Imperfection Barbie

Topics: Bolesław Prus, Miss America, Dolls Pages: 3 (1185 words) Published: November 18, 2011
Imperfection Barbie
Landon Peterson

In “Miss America 1990,” Denise Duhamel presents an idealized version of Miss America, evoking images of Christian values and showing concern toward social issues. Although their acts seem innocent and righteous, these contestants have altered themselves, in order to fit some type of generic mold of “perfection.” Similarly, the mold that these contestants are put in to relates to the mold of Barbie, who has come to symbolize what girls should model themselves after. But, Duhamel questions Barbie's image by providing examples of how the doll has been rejected. In “Miss America 1990,” Denise Duhamel repeatedly uses imagery of perfection, but illuminates that in order to convey a “perfect” image, girls have to reject their true identity. She then illustrates how people have taken control, rejecting this ideal figure to reverse this unrealistic idea of perfection.

Though Duhamel shows how Miss America contestants may represent an ideal form of “perfect,” she clarifies that they reject their true image in order to do so. As one contestant roller skates to “Amazing Grace,” and another “thanks God for her kidney transplant” (62), Duhamel suggests that Miss America is portrayed as a superior Christian figure. By relating statements to the lord above, Duhamel suggests that Miss America has very strong morals, showing how the contestants are ideal role models. Moreover, she demonstrates how Miss America shows great concern regarding social issues: “ they remind us about unfortunate discrimination against the hearing impaired, that it's so important for our youth to say no to drugs. If we only recycled our bottles and cans, why the world would be perfect.” These contestants address marginal populations and unpopular topics, evoking how they could create a more “perfect” world. In addition, Duhamel argues that these iconic women want to prove they can create a flawless world, reflecting how “perfect” they really...
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