In 1956, Ruth Handler, an American businesswoman, was vacationing in Switzerland when she came across Bild Lilli, a doll that, unlike popular baby dolls at the time, had long, shapely legs and wore heavy makeup. Lilli, in fact, was based on a prostitute in a postwar German cartoon, but Handler was inspired. She bought three Lilli dolls, returned to California and in 1959 created the world's first Barbie doll (Lowen). Since her debut in 1959, over one billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries (Seare). A Barbie doll is probably one of the most famous cultural icons in America. When young girls look at the doll, they see an independent, adventurous female. However, people may not understand the effects that a Barbie doll can have on a little girl. Parents might think they are buying the ideal toy for their child, not knowing the shocking effects that come along with Barbie. The point is Barbie has a negative effect on girls because she supports an unhealthy weight, an unnatural beauty and is an unrealistic portrayal of women. This plastic doll affects each little girl differently. It is weird how a toy can have such an impact on a girl’s life. Depending on the little girl, Barbie can have positive or negative effects. Barbie influences what a little girl wants her parents to buy for her, how she thinks she should look, and what age the little girl becomes physically active. It seems that Barbie would have more of a negative effect on children rather than a positive one. Barbie portrays the doll that can do anything. This makes girls think that they should be just like her. In reality nobody can be like Barbie because she is “perfect.” Barbie has her dream house, car, and a wardrobe that is expanded almost every day. Many girls believe that they have to be just like Barbie. This pressures parents to buy their girls many new outfits and accessories. Girls believe they have to be just like Barbie in order to fit in. Little girls may ask their parents at a very young age if they can start wearing mini-skirts. This could be a problem for parents. They feel that their little girls are growing up way too fast. The more accessories, the more money the family has to have to buy their child toys. Some children may feel left out in this situation because their family is not as wealthy. The more wealthy girls are able to get all the Barbie accessories they need. On the other hand the less fortunate girls feel left out because their parents are not able to buy them everything they want. This would be a negative affect about Barbie. Little girls can get very upset and feel left out if they do not have everything that Barbie has. Another thing about Barbie is the girls want to look and be just like her. Barbie is skinny, tall, and has big breasts. Researchers have discovered that girls as young as five are already concerned about body image. Their studies have shown that Barbie dolls, which are far thinner than traditional shapes, particularly at the waist, make girls want to be unrealistically slim when they grow up. There was a particular Barbie doll that was sold with a book that was titled How to Lose Weight, which advised young girls not to eat. The doll also came with a bathroom scale reading 110 pounds, which would around 35 pounds underweight for a woman who is 5 feet 9 inches. Another Barbie doll that was sold, spoke a number of phrases one of them being “Math is hard!” alluding to dumb, blonde stereotype (Barbie). This has become such a problem that lawmakers are proposing to ban sales on the doll. The Barbie Ban Bill was proposed by Democratic Delegate Jeff Eldridge. Eldridge has gone on to say that such toys influence girls to place too much importance on physical beauty, at the expense of their intellectual and emotional development (Ditch the doll?). In 2003, researchers found that if Barbie were a life-size woman, her measurements...
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