Living in a Barbie World

Living in a Barbie World

Length: 684 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Living in a Barbie World

She took the world by storm with her luxurious blond hair, blue eyes, and long legs. Soon, little girls all over the world were emulating and praising this eleven-and-a-half-inch-tall plastic doll (Napier). Throughout the decades, she has become an icon to little girls, so much that some are wondering whether the stereotypical ideals for women exemplified by Barbie have affected females in regards to body image.

When Barbie first appeared, she bore her trademark black and white swimsuit and swirling ponytail. Over the years as fashion and teenage lifestyle trends have shifted, so has Barbie. She has evolved from having bendable legs, a twisting waist, long hair, and sophisticated look in the 1960s to the athletically inclined Barbie with bendable wrists, elbows, and ankles in the 1970s. In the 1980s, a new friendlier, open-mouthed smiling, and bright-eyed Barbie emerged on the scene (Riddick). Her wardrobe took on a bit of pizzazz in the 1990s when she started sporting clothes created by famous fashion designers such as Calvin Klein and Vera Wang (Fashion). Not only has this doll transformed into an internationally known fashion savvy doll, she has left psychologists and parents wondering if she may be at fault for many female body image problems because of her overly slender stature.

It is incredibly amazing that anyone could consider the body measurements of 5'6", 110 pounds, and 39-18-33 attainable or at all a realistic womanly figure (Napier). These are Barbie's measurements in proportion to the size of a real woman and also the spark that started the fire of controversy concerning gender stereotyping in the nation. The accusations by feminists and doctors alike are that Mattel, the manufacturer of the doll, has projected harmful body images onto our female youth by subtly placing these stereotypes into the media and into little girls hands. The psychologists insist that the young girls notice the body shapes of the doll and translate them into what a female should physically look like thus creating a problem down the road such as low self-esteem or an eating disorder (Langley).

Although the Barbie manufacturer's prime intention for the doll was to inspire self-esteem, glamour, and friendship, society's stereotypes have caused her much media strife. There has been so much controversy that in 1998 she underwent plastic surgery to reduce her breast size, liposuction her hips, and inject the fat into her waist.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Living in a Barbie World." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Mar 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=39192>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Barbie 's Role Model Of Barbie Essay

- Over the past 50 years Barbie has not only been a best friend to many little girls across America but she has been a role model to them as well. Barbie is everything any growing girl would want to be. After all she is living the dream, not only with the materialistic aspects of her life like the houses, cars and of course we cannot forget about her fashion, but also with her extensive resume filled with many careers. Or at least that is what the creators of Barbie intended for her but the reality is that Barbie can only truly be relatable to a small demographic of girls....   [tags: Eye color, Human skin color, Barbie, Mattel]

Research Papers
963 words (2.8 pages)

Barbie : A Girl 's Doll Essay

- Barbie, Mattel’s Iconic Doll, is a doll that allows children to imagine their futures. Back when Barbie first appeared on the shelves, she was blonde wearing a black and white stripped swimming suit. Today, Barbie Dolls have many different careers and ethnicities. Barbie getting from point A to B wasn’t easy, since she had a life filled with controversy. Should Barbie get a makeover. I feel that if this question is rearranged to say, ‘Should Barbie get a makeover to become what society believes to be ‘average’ or ‘normal’, the answer becomes clear, no....   [tags: Barbie, Mattel, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue]

Research Papers
738 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Analysis of the poem Barbie Doll, by Marge Piercy

- Barbie Doll’ written by Marge Piercy (1973) This girlchild was born as usual And presented dolls that did pee-pee And miniature GE stoves and irons And wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy. Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs. She was healthy, tested intelligent, Possessed strong arms and back, Abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity. She went to and fro apologizing. Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs. She was advised to play coy, Exhorted to come on hearty, Exercise, diet, smile and wheedle....   [tags: Barbie Doll Essays]

Research Papers
1395 words (4 pages)

Essay about The Blessing of Barbie

- I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world. Life in plastic, it’s fantastic. Ask almost anyone and they will be able to continue the Barbie theme song. American businesswoman named Ruth Handler, created the Barbie brand in 1959. Barbie is typically a tall, skinny, blonde who is in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend Ken, and has had at least 100 jobs. Barbie has become an American icon; she is present in almost every girl’s childhood for some period of time. Barbie is a well known, long lasting company and overall a good role model to young girls....   [tags: a good role model for girls]

Research Papers
685 words (2 pages)

Never Will Be That Redhead Barbie Doll Essay

- Sandra Cisneros was born on December 20, 1954 in Chicago Illinois. Cisneros now lives in San Antonio, TX. Sandra Cisneros was the third child an only daughter out of 7 children. As a Latina, she writes a lot about her experiences in the United States. Sandra Cisneros is best known for her literary work “The House on Mango Street” written in 1991. In addition, Cisneros had received many awards for her work including Mac Arthur Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Texas Medal of the Arts....   [tags: experiences, write, portaits]

Research Papers
822 words (2.3 pages)

Hippie Barbie Essay examples

- Hippie Barbie, written by Denise Duhamel uses the symbols of the contemporary life of the fairy-tale lifestyle into reality. The words and ideas used in this narrative poem give fantasy a different perspective. It is inferred that the speaker is a female Barbie specialist, who reflects her knowledge by using the popular Barbie doll as the main character. Throughout the poem, she gives key points that have female perspective; for instance, kissing Ken, thinking about having mixed-race children, and walking a poodle....   [tags: Poetry]

Research Papers
1052 words (3 pages)

The Negative Influence of Barbie on Young Girls Essay

- First, Barbie’s body size is a negative influence on girls everywhere. “If Barbie were flesh-and-blood woman, her waist would be 39% smaller than that of anorexic patients, and her body weight would be so low that she would not be able to menstruate." –Developmental Psychology If Barbie was a real person her body measurements would be 36-18-33 (Czeck). She would be 5’ 6” and 110 lbs (Czeck). That is simply unrealistic. A woman of healthy weight has a body size of 36-24-36 (Body). A plastic doll has caused girls and women all over the world to feel insecure about who they are and what they look like....   [tags: body, career, life]

Research Papers
578 words (1.7 pages)

The Chimney Sweeper And Barbie Doll : An Unlikely Pair Essay

- The Chimney Sweeper and the Barbie Doll: An Unlikely Pair At first glance, the poems The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake, and Barbie Doll, by Marge Piercy appear to have no tangible similarities. However, upon further analysis and interpretation, they can be seen as somewhat akin. In these two poems, the harsh treatment of children, the use of imagery, and children’s self-image in the poems are comparable. The differences between the two poems include the time period in which they were written, the background of the characters, and the characters’ reactions to the problems that they are faced with....   [tags: Chimney sweep, Chimney, Fashion doll, Childhood]

Research Papers
1428 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on What Was the US Like in the 1950's?

- What was it like to live in America in the 1950’s, which in my opinion, is one of the best decades there ever was. I found that the 1950’s were a time of great advancement and progress. I’ve always loved and enjoyed reading books and watching television shows about the 1950’s, so when I had to pick a topic for this paper I chose this wonderful decade. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning new things about my favorite decade. Let’s find out what it was like to be an American in the 1950’s. Like I said before, 1950’s America was so full of new and improved things....   [tags: automobile, inventions, barbie]

Research Papers
1953 words (5.6 pages)

True Beauty for Cindy Jackson Essay

- ... Most of the societies define beauty by the color of skin, eyes, body shape, and appearance. On the other hand, some societies may think that physical appearance is not important as appearance may change over time, but the beauty of our heart will never change. Therefore, beauty can be broken down into two categories: outer beauty and inner beauty. Outer beauty simply refer to a person’s appearance, this include their face, hair, skin color, body shape and even clothing. Inner beauty demonstrate by the real personality of a person, which include love, kindness, empathy, sympathy, wisdom and etc....   [tags: dream, procedures, comestic, barbie]

Research Papers
1239 words (3.5 pages)

Related Searches

Her new post-operative measurements are around 36-27-38 (Salon). The question now remains as to whether these measurements will satisfy the feminists and psychologists, promote a suitable body image for young girls, and erase some of the gender stereotypes in society? Only time will tell if their attitudes will change. No matter how the company changes the physical aspects of Barbie, there will always be some sort of "Barbie-hater" out there to pull out the gender stereotyping card and create a commotion.

More than simple playthings, dolls like Barbie were meant to be tools that could stimulate young girl's minds, emotions, and imaginations. They contribute to how these young girls relate to and understand other individuals, other times, and other places.
Although given a bad reputation for portraying an impractical image for girls, Barbie has been a positive role model in encouraging their capacity to love others and themselves. She has remained a superior influence in her years, drawing her identity from current fashion trends and social issues beginning in a decade of modesty to the millennium of over-the-top glamour. Barbie has indeed progressed into an appropriate-for-the-times, you-can-do-anything type of independent woman. Eventhough this is so, Mattel and the role of Barbie - and of toys more generally - in constructing young girls' sense of appropriate gender roles remains hotly debated to date.

Works Cited

Fashion Windows. "Barbie in Burberry." 21 May 2001. 05 Feb. 2002
http://www.fashionwindows.com/fashion/burberry_barbie.asp

Langley, Jeff. "Plastic surgery will make Barbie fatter and flatter." 1997. 05 Feb. 2002
http://www.texasonline.net/langley/columns/barbie.htm

Napier, Mark. "The Distorted Barbie." 15 April 1997. 05 Feb. 2002
http://www.users.rcn.com/napier.interport//barbie/barbie.html

Riddick, Kristin. "Barbie: The Image of Us All." 05 Feb. 2002
http://www.people.virginia.edu/~tsawyer/barbie/barb.html

Salon. "The Littlest Harlot." 1997 Nov. 26. 05 Feb. 2002
http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/1997/11/26harlot.html
Return to 123HelpMe.com