The phrase, Beauty is only skin deep, does not appear to apply in this era of idealism and perfectionism. From the time babies are born through their adulthood, they are raised to conform to specific social roles. Specifically, little girls are expected to grow up becoming perfect feminine beauties created to bare children and care for their homes and husbands. Sandra Cisnero's “Barbie-Q” and Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll” portray the female body and gender roles through the standards imposed by the society that is one of the flawless physical beauty; just like the Barbie doll; the perfect figure, hair, nails, and face and ready to adhere to the expected roles of bearing children, taking care of husband and doing home chores. Throughout their work, in addition to criticize "the way in which women are socialized into stereotypical feminine behavior" (Overview: 'Barbie Doll'), both Cisnero and Piercy hold that escape is not possible from these ideals and that it is very destructive.
Margie Pearcy's "Barbie Doll" Margie Pearcy's "Barbie Doll" details the image that society projects upon and expects from its young female population. From an early age these young women struggle to conform to the standards that society has defined for them. The results often are disastrous, leading to emotional conflicts that are often difficult if not impossible to resolve. Beautiful, flawless dolls such as Barbie are frequently the first source of association that little girls have with the values placed on them by society. Parents give little toddlers dolls, miniature stoves, and cherry-candy colored lipsticks (2-4) for playthings.
2005. ‘Babyish’ Barbie under attack from little girls, study shows. [press release] 19 December 2005. http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/articles/releases/barbie161205.html Winterman, Denise. 2009. What would a real life Barbie look like?
It does not help the young girls self-esteem; it is damaging them morally in the real sense that they are real people that are being taught looks are important. There is other activities to build up a childs self-esteem other than beauty pageants as parents believe; such as dancing, sports or acting lessons. Especially the younger children who get influenced faster, are taught to be more beautiful on the outside than the inside. For example, lots of the girls on the show and in local beauty pageants usually tan, wear wigs, wear false eyelashes, fake nails and makeup. What is this teaching them?
Piercy, Marge. “Barbie Doll” An Introduction to Literature. Sylvan Barnet, William Burto, and William E. Cain. Pearson. 614.
Because of these seemingly harsh stipulations, numerous people have developed negative viewpoints about child beauty pageants; however, others believe there are positive aspects found in the competitions. Whenever child beauty pageants are discussed, opposing beliefs are presented, and Elizabeth Day presents he... ... middle of paper ... ...though these solutions may not have completely satisfied both viewpoints, they offer partial reconciliation over a highly disputable topic. If both sides of the issue join together in agreement, the young girls will learn the imperative lesson of working with others to reach a consensus, and this will truly make them more than merely living Barbie dolls. Works Cited Casstevens, David. "More Children Stepping into Beauty Contests, Drawing Controversy."
The children are judged based on individuality in looks, capability, poise, perfection and confidence. (“Kareen Nussbaum”) Putting your child in a situation as to being Judged by others is terrible. Young girls should not be judged by how they look, weight, height etc… this can make the girls feel insecure about themselves when they are older. These girls might think they look beautiful with make-up; they can also be self-fish with others. It can also lead to disorders having an image of perfection.
Soon after, Barbie was advertised strictly just for children through mass media. Although the Barbie doll is supposed to symbolize the various job opportunities for females, she has become the idea of what the country now sees as the “perfect woman” and is criticized around the world for her negative effects on girls’ self-esteem and eating habits. The average girl in America is raised up surrounded with images of Barbie’s body image. An overwhelming 99% of girls between the ages of three to twelve own at least one Barbie doll. Constantly surrounded by Barbie’s perfect body image can take a toll on one’s self-esteem and body perception.
If progression is to be the main objective towards equality for the modern woman, it is necessary that we examine the process by which we are raising our children. In her article Pollitt expresses the notion that she believes that the "barbie doll" represents what society labels as the ideal woman, this social gender-based stereotype has an extreme influence on the way we raise our kids. The fact that we raise our little girls to play with dolls instead of toy trucks and we teach our girls home economics and our boys sports because it is what is "expected" and it is what is traditional shows that women have not yet fully broken from the bondage of gender stereotyping. The traditional belief, that men are superior to women dominates modern culture. The results that it has on the development and ultimate formation of the woman's sense of self and identity are obvious.