Barbie - Actions and Consequences

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The creation of a worldwide icon is bound to be a controversial issue. Ruth Handler created the Barbie Doll in 1959 for her daughter, Barbara, to play with, and it spun into huge proportions. Handler's action of creating Barbie has influenced the way girl's play and children's perceptions of womanhood and femininity. However, some groups believe that these perceptions have been altered for the worse, and have retaliated. There have been consequences such as gender role stereotyping, "Barbie Backlash", and economic consequences.

Before Barbie, little girls were given baby dolls to play with, which socialized them for their future roles as mothers and housekeepers. Theses baby dolls had only one occupation; being a baby. Barbie was a breath of fresh air, as she was beautiful, slim, and had interesting jobs. Girls began to enjoy playing independent adult roles rather than motherhood roles, and they began to realize they could have a wider spectrum of jobs available to them. Barbie had jobs that were not typical to females at the time, ranging from Firefighter and Army Barbie's to Prime Minister Barbie.

Barbie's beauty has become the stereotype of today; tall, blond, blue eyed, and the 39"-18"-33" proportions. Young girls who play with Barbie aspire to be like her, they see it as the pinnacle of femininity, womanhood, and prettiness. Even unconsciously, girls who play with Barbie are dressing her up in pretty clothes, acting out their fantasies with this beautiful character. They will see that this is because Barbie is ‘perfect', and will see it as how they will want to look.

Barbie's invention had quite an impact on American society. Many different opinions and perceptions cropped up; people believing it is a positive change (the girls who can now expand their games with a Barbie doll), and also people thinking it has a negative impact upon the children's behavior and perspectives. There are many factors that affected the view of a person; their gender,...
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