Barbie As A Role Model

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Barbie was created in 1959 and since then has been a popular toy among young girls. Her popularity among young girls has started a debate whether she is a role model. Some see her as the toy she is, however others see her as the reason so many girls develop body image issues due to her unrealistic body. Barbie was created in 1959 by Ruth Handler. Ruth stumbled upon the idea while watching her daughter, Barbara, act out real life situations with her dolls. Ruth suggested the idea of an adult sized doll to her husband the co-founder of Mattel Toy Company. Her husband wasn’t thrilled with the idea and didn’t approve. In the late fifties and sixties it was very unusual for dolls to have breasts, most dolls then were infants or children, in fact research was done and came with the results that Barbie wouldn’t sell because she had breasts. However, that didn’t stop Ruth, while on a trip in Germany, she found a doll named “Bild Lilli”. She bought one back to the states with her and changed a few things about her and presented Barbie. There wasn’t a doll on the market that had the figure of a real woman, until Barbie. She was created for the same reason any other toy was created, to be played with, but over the years she has been the center of a steaming controversy, whether she is a fitting role model for girls. A role model is often imitated. Her make-up and outfits are chic, “but some girls may interpret these outfits as a sign that you need to look a certain way in order to be allowed to step into roles previously held only by men” (Lee 53). When Barbie was first released many mother’s refused to buy the beloved Barbie’s for their daughter’s, they would sought out to buy them Barbie’s younger sister Skipper, who lacked Barbie’s wom... ... middle of paper ... ...nd her props have added to the controversy. A massive audience concluded that her props encouraged girls to engross about their weight (Lord 229). In one of her many sets a book was included that giving tips about losing weight and one of the tips that was included was “don’t eat” ( Lord 230). Her small figure seems to bother many women, leading to criticism about her body being criticized because of her measurements which wouldn’t be able to be maintained by an actual human. Putting aside her physique, her props also state that math is hard, which is a general statement that not just Barbie has but many people that are considered to be role models may have (Barbie a weighty problem for girls web). A fourteen year old considers Barbie a colossal waste of time because she encourages girls to be ovsessed with their outfits and looks rather than education (Stone 56).
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