Barbie vs. the World
I’ll admit it; I absolutely loved playing with Barbie’s as a child! I must have had like twenty of them. She had everything: a dream house, Ken, plenty of friends, and a slender body with all the right curves, everything I dreamed of having when I grew up. “En Garde, Princess!” by Mary Grace Lord, challenges why every girl loves Barbie. Her article appeared in the online magazine Salon under the “Mothers Who Think” department on October 27, 2000, before the launch of a new doll line called the Get Real Girls, which were created by Julz Chavez. In this article Lord uses repetition, ethos, comparison and name calling to convince the reader that Barbie will soon encounter a fierce competitor, a better role model, which may finally dethrone her as the best selling doll of all time, or at least “punch a few holes in her sales” (423).
In the first paragraph, Lord repeatedly uses military references to show the reader that Barbie has a fight ahead of her. I think Lord uses these references to draw in the audience that she is appealing to, which are smart, aggressive, opinionated woman. She declares that Barbie has been the leader in the doll industry since 1959, and that she needs to watch out for the “newly formed SWAT team of action figures known as the Get Real Girls” (419). SWAT means Special Weapons And Tactics, so this leads the reader to believe that the Get Real Girls are well equipped to battle Barbie for her throne. Also, Lord references Barbie need not “raise the pink drawbridge” (419) or “dump radio-controlled alligators into the moat” (419), both of which are found in military fortifications. This signifies that Barbie has not lost the battle yet, but that she is dealing with a fierce competitor, one she should be cautious of.
Lord establishes ethos by telling the reader that she wrote the book Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll. This suggests that Lord has a vast knowledge about Barbie’s life, from her...
Cited: Lord, M.G. "En Garde, Princess!" Reading Rhetorically: A Reader
For Writers. 2nd ed. Ed. John C. Bean,Virginia A. Chappell, Alice M. Gillam. New York: Pearson, 2005. 418-23.
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