Barbie: Should The Doll Be Modified?

Topics: Barbie, Mattel, Fashion doll Pages: 6 (1386 words) Published: June 5, 2014


Barbie:
Should the Doll be Modified?

Jordan Sidebottom

ENGL 1302
Professor Baggaley
February 3, 2014
Sidebottom 1
Jordan Sidebottom
ENGL 1302
Professor Baggaley
February 3, 2014 Barbie:
Should the Doll be Modified?

Since Barbie was first launched by Mattel in 1959 over 10 million have been sold. “Somewhere in the world, a Barbie is sold ever half-second”(Dittmar, Halliwell, and Ive). Out of all Mattel profits, Barbie makes up approximately 80% of them. Barbie brings in such a high profit because she has always been seen as the 'perfect woman': perfect house, boyfriend, wardrobe, but most importantly a perfect body. However stated by Sakima Laksimi in 'The Barbie Effect', “the problem is little girls are growing up admiring this unrealistic icon. Barbie shows girls that to be perfect you need to be skinny. In today's media being skinny is favored, but are these little girls any less because they don't resemble this unrealistic doll? Of course not, but when skinny is all they see, that is what they want to be. The effects of being self conscious and unsatisfied with their body can follow a little girl even after childhood”. Many people do not see the underlying problem with Barbies, so it is important to bring awareness to her true message because it is extremely unhealthy for girls to follow. While young girls should be able to freely play with Barbie-dolls, it is sometimes necessary to make sure those dolls aren't harmful to their self views.

Barbie provides young girls with stereotypical gender roles. Abramason says,“Significant results would mean that exposure to Barbie could lower self-perceived ability and makes female stereotypes more salient”. This put the idea in girls heads that they will never achieve the same status of knowledge as boys, and if they do it is not “cool”, and if you aren't “cool” you certainly can't be Sidebottom 2

“perfect” like Barbie. Many girls look at Barbie as an idol, so seeing her lack the brains in math makes them want to pursue the same. Girls should not count themselves out of school because a doll teaches them otherwise. If parents don't believe Barbies have a negative impact on their daughters academic skills they need to make sure they try their hardest in school rather than reciting after a Barbie, that was released in 1992, “Math is tough”, shown in 'The Pros and Cons of Barbie'. If a girl is told that math is though she will live it. It is understood that Barbie provides a role model for young girls to express their beauty; however parents must realize that along with her horrifying stereotypical attributes she shows girls that prioritizing surface beauty is the only thing that matters.

Yes, if the dolls were modified girls might turn away, but once they realize it is still Barbie they will indulge it due to the strong bond girls have developed with her. Urla and Swedlund in 'Barbie Blues' discovered, “If Barbie were full size, her measurements would be 32-17-28, typical of a woman suffering from anorexia. Add to this anorexic frame her large gravity-defying breasts and you have a body ideal that is virtually impossible for a healthy, non-surgically altered woman to attain”. If young girls want to “grow up to be look like Barbie” there is a huge problem. There are so many anti-anorexia campaigns, yet we continue to sell a disproportionate doll for little girls to idolize. Gathered from The Pros and Cons of Barbie,“If Barbie were a real woman she would have a waistline 39 percent smaller than the average anorexic patient. Her fat-to-body-weight ratio would be below 17 percent, which is required for a woman to menstruate”.. Anorexia, the starving of oneself, forces the body to conserve energy because it lacks the energy it receives from food. Due to this, many systems in the body are slowed down, and one of these systems is the reproductive system, because without energy your body Sidebottom...

Cited: Abramson, Elise. Barbie Brains: The Effect of Barbie Dolls on Girls’ Perception of Male and Female Jobs. Oregon State University, 2009. Oregon State University Library. Web. 25 January 2014.
Dittmar, Helga, Emma Halliwell, and Suzanne Ive. “Does Barbie Make Girls Want to Be Thin? The Effect of Experimental Exposure to Images of Dolls on the Body Image of 5- to 8-Year-Old Girls.” Developmental Psychology 47.2, 2006. Web. 25 January 2014.
Sakina Laksimi."The Barbie Effect."Media Ecology. Mercy College, 2012. Web. 20 January 2014.
Urla and Swedlund.“The Barbie Blues?” The Body Project. Bradley University, 2001.Web. 20 January 2014.
“The Pros and Cons of Barbie and their Extreme Effect on Society .” Body Image, 2011. Web. 22 January 2014.
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