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What Is Barbie's Beauty Standard?

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Barbie is today’s beauty ideals packaged up into a cardboard box to be sold to millions of young girls around the world. Barbie has long blond hair, blue eyes, fair skin and a slim, shapely body. When girls become teenagers and grow out of playing with dolls, Barbie passes the responsibility of defining contemporary beauty standards to the media. The media ensues by placing this image throughout north american magazines, runways, and film. With such prevalent broadcasting adolescent girls have begun to describe “the “ideal girl” as being 5’7”, 100 pounds, size 5, with long blonde hair and blue eyes...” (Strasburger 400). This quote provides powerful evidence of how impossibly specific and eerily similar to a Barbie doll the standard is within…show more content…
Arguably, there are many factors contributing to low self-esteem, although, due to the fact that “American teenagers spend more than 10 hours a day consuming media, most of it filled with content that objectifies women and distorts their bodies.” (Miss Representation), it is reasonable to name media as a primary factor. While media is actively displaying women’s bodies, it neglects to mention women’s intelligence, talents or personalities. This combination has created the illusion that women are worth no more than their appearance, and are nothing if they are not beautiful. As a result, north american female adolescents seek their sense of worth through the fad diets, and weight loss techniques learned through media. Though, seeing as the media creates a standard of beauty that no fad diet or weight loss technique can provide, the young girls failed attempts often lead to feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. Consequently, these negative emotions can mature into serious mental illness, such as depression; it has been found that “Rates of depression among girls and women have doubled between 2000 and 2010.” (Miss Representation). Such negative internalizations are supplemented by external pressures to be thin; for example seeing thin women displayed in movies, magazines…show more content…
Two prevalent eating disorders associated with the desire to be thin are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa is described as “self-starvation, low weight and fear of being fat” (Hellmich 185). Bulimia Nervosa is described as “the binge-and-purge disorder” (Hellmich 185) and based on prevalence studies “is up to three times more common than anorexia” (Inch 116). Both Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are believed to be partially induced by the ideals portrayed in contemporary media; for example, “A number of studies have linked popular magazine exposure to symptoms of eating disorders among female readers” (Inch 2). While this quote exemplifies that magazines contribute to the development of eating disorders, it neglects to mention that such endorsement prevails throughout every genre of media. Consequently, eating disorders are spreading throughout North America; this is a regrettable fact considering the dangers associated with such
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