The Bombardment of Barbie’s and the Branding of Beauty

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“[In] a poll done by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of 3,000 fourth to tenth graders revealed that most girls can’t look in a mirror and say, ‘I’m pretty!’ or even ‘I’m okay!’”(Cordes 4). Social media, avenues of peer and parental influences, and role models of “beauty” cause young girls of today’s society to develop distorted views of beauty for themselves. America over time has reached a level that depicts beauty as an unrealistic and unachievable model of the “perfect beautiful girl.” According to research by Shelly Grabe, Janet Shibley Hyde—both staff of the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison—and L. Monique Ward of the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan, half of the population of females younger than twenty-four confess to being dissatisfied with the way they look (Grabe, Hyde, and Ward 460). Females of today’s society look to their culture to derive what exactly beauty is, and recently the depiction of beauty has been tainted. There is a plethora of speculated causes for this trend of negative self-perception in young females, and many of these causes eventually lead to dangerous extreme measures by girls striving to reach the “idealized level of beauty.” Peer influences such as appearance conversations and friendship cliques have proven to have direct correlation with young girls and body image. Gathered from the research of two professors from the School of Psychology at Flinders University Levina Clark and Marika Tiggermann, “poor body image in children has been associated with teasing by peers and conversations with peers about appearance” (Clark and Tiggermann 1125). Peers easily persuade young girls, and if a girl’s peer group considers the unreal... ... middle of paper ... ...e Effect of Experimental Exposure to Images of Dolls on the Body Image of 5- to 8-year-old Girls." Developmental Psychology 42.2 (2006): 283-92. PsycARTICLES. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. Grabe, Shelly, L. Monique Ward, and Janet Shibley Hyde. "The Role of the Media in Body Image Concerns among Women: A Meta-analysis of Experimental and Correlational Studies." Psychological Bulletin 134.3 (2008): 460-76. PsycARTICLES. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. Smolak, Linda. "Eating Disorders in Girls." Handbook of Behavioral and Emotional Problems in Girls. Ed. Sharon L. Foster, Eric J. Mash, and Deborah J. Bell. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, 2005. 463+. SpringerLink. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. Stice, Eric, and Kathryn Whitenton. "Risk Factors for Body Dissatisfaction in Adolescent Girls: A Longitudinal Investigation." Developmental Psychology 38.5 (2002): 669-78. PsyARTICLES. Web. 29 Nov. 2011.

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