Barbie Impacts Self-Image of Young Girls
Children today are being blasted with images from television, movies, games, and toys that are gender-biased. The media and toy designers have increasingly and negatively sexualized children’s toys. This has led to a gender divide and the formation of low self-image in our nation’s youth, particularly girls. Barbie is one such toy that all young girls seem to want, but at what costs? When you visit stores like Toys R Us, Target, or Wal-Mart their toy aisles are filled with hundreds of toys. Barbie has a whole aisle dedicated just for her. Barbie has been a popular toy for over fifty years. She perfect and seems to have it all. Barbie has the impeccable body and complexion. She has a gorgeous boyfriend Ken. Her careers range from being a teacher, doctor, athlete, and now she can be president. She lives in the nicest house and drives the coolest cars, always a convertible. What’s not to like about her? Barbie portrays an unrealistic body image. If she was real, her height would be around 6 feet two inches. Her bust size would be forty-four inches, her waist 18 inches, and her hips thirty-three inches. She would wear a size three shoe. Women’s shoe’s do not come in that small of a size instead she would be wearing a girl’s size shoe. Dittmer, Halliwell, and Ive stated that “dolls like Barbie can serve as an imaginary point of view from which to see one's own bodily self, through which young girls come to understand the meaning of beauty and perfection by pretending to be her dolls, which are embodiments of the cultural ideal of the female body” (2006, p.4).
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