Body Image Oratory

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Tristyn RhodesMr. Bemis
English 10 HonorsBody Image
February 14, 2013

The Pressure to be Perfect
What if I told you that little girls everywhere idolized a woman who is five foot nine and weighs only 110 pounds. Her bust in 39 inches, her waist only eighteen, and her hips measuring in at mere 33 inches. You may think me a little crazy. Her name is Barbie. Created in March 1959 Barbie was used to fill a gap in the ever growing doll market (Barbie). But should little girls really be idolizing this woman? A life size barbie would have a body mass index of only16.24 which falls into the category of anorexic (Barbie). With society emulating such a being, we are forced to ask ourselves, does society's view of the ideal human being affect an individual's view of them self? The answer is yes. Due to the stress society puts on perfection, the individual is forced to put that same stress on them self. It is said that Barbie promotes a healthy and non-sexist image for young girls, with careers possibilities such as astronaut or even a UNICEF ambassador (Barbie). Creator of the Barbie doll, Ruth Handler, once said, “My whole philosophy on Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman had choices.”(Barbie) But if women have so many choices why are so many of them choosing to starving themselves in an effort to be flawless? Even if women are not emulating Barbie, the pressure to be perfect still looms over society today.

In May 2009 the family of nineteen year old Sara, attended her funeral. After her death her sister, Leah, stumbled across Sara's journal, the first entry of which read “ I really don't know where I should start. I guess with how I feel. I feel like a complete failure. I've let bulimia take over again, and I'm slowly crumbling into nothing.” At one point Sara told her parents about her struggle with bulimia. Just two months earlier she had written these words,...
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