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The Significance of Barbie

By simon1410 Dec 10, 2012 633 Words
A toy can convey both positive and negative messages. This is relevant in Barbie and her character. Barbie intends to serve as a role model for young girls around the world. Conversely, her excessively strong obsession with beauty and wealth has reverse effects on youth. Briefly, Barbie can be viewed in different ways, as she represents positive ideas, yet certain aspects of her appearance and character suggest otherwise. Barbie’s sole purpose is to inspire young girls to aspire to become anything they desire. This is true in the movie Lifesize, as they portray Barbie, in human form, to be a loving, compassion individual who can do anything. Eve, who plays Barbie in the movie, explains her mission in life to Casey, saying, “Girls everywhere should believe that all things are possible. My purpose is to help girls and represent a positive image.” It is evident through this previously mentioned citation that Barbie is a great person at heart and intends to mentor Casey, a character that is a representation of young girls in North American society. Barbie also claims to be a humanitarian, adding another aspect to her well rounded resume. “Eve cares about world poverty and hunger, that’s why I’m a good role model for girls,” she explains. Along with being compassionate and caring, Barbie also mentions she has exceptional skills as a secretary when Ben asks about her credentials. This scene emphasizes how Barbie values the importance of being diverse and well rounded in all aspects of life. As a result, the intention of Barbie’s character is to promote having an aptitude for many things in life, although you may not be good at it. In the movie, Barbie did not turn out to be as good of a secretary she claimed to be, however, she put forth her best effort and that is where the emphasis is placed through the dialogue. Barbie is portrayed to be a great human being and this is the sole purpose of her character. On the other hand, there are many misleading implications that come with Barbie. Barbie can be interpreted as a harmful figure to youth in today’s society. This is true in Barbie: The Materialistic Bimbo as the article discusses her unrealistic character and the contradictory messages Barbie communication. “Barbie represents the values of modern American society devoting herself to the pursuit of happiness through leisure and material goods.” Barbie is always dressed in the latest fashion and is perceived to be very fashionable. Along with her sense of style, Barbie is also very beautiful as she is very slim, tall, and has an overall aesthetically pleasing appearance. Her impractical figure sets an unreasonable standard for young girls because they feel pressured and obligated to meet it in order to feel beautiful. “As a first standard of “beauty” for young girls, it is not only unrealistic, it is unhealthy...Barbie creates in young girls a false body consciousness.” Furthermore, Barbie is a consumer doll, and is meant to be accessorized. However, the accessories available instil, “the values of a consumeristic culture into young girls.” This, in turn, implies character is not as important as their appearance. As a result, Barbie’s target demographic becomes a victim of the misleading connotation it conveys. Consequently, the introduction of Barbie has formed the perception of young girls with regards to their views on what is important in a woman’s life. The connotative meaning of Barbie, without doubt, can be negotiated differently. Barbie can be viewed as being a positive influence and a source of empowerment for young women. On the other hand, Barbie can also emphasize the fact that one’s success is measured by wealth, popularity, and appearance. All things considered, Barbie communicates opposing messages that carry both positive and negative repercussions on its target demographic.

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