To Be Or Not To Be Barbie

1935 words - 8 pages

Every woman grows up knowing that they one day want to be beautiful. In Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll” she gives an in-depth look at what negative effects the concept of beauty can have on an individual. From infancy to a full-grown adult woman, beauty has been a way of thinking and lifestyle. As a little girl you are given petite shaped, blonde, blue-eyed dolls. While boys are given brawny soldiers and mechanical toys.
What do little girls do with these dolls? They put on fresh makeup, change their fashionable clothing, and style there long luscious hair. This alone is creating a psychological change in a little girls brain, it is instilling that this is what is customary for a girl to do. Rather than fixing things you are to play princess, along with your easy bake oven. For centuries society has quietly driven a complex into the hearts and minds of young girls, that you have to be pretty to succeed. In our time today you rarely see unattractive; politicians, movie stars, musicians, officials or entertainers. Anybody who is somebody these days has attractive physical qualities.
In Marge Piercy’s poem she states “ She was healthy, tested intelligent, possessed strong arms and back, abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.”(Piercy 7-9) If a young lady possesses all of these things then why would she not feel that she was up to par? How could intelligence and capability not be enough for this girl who was obviously a well-rounded individual? The idea of what her classmate thought about her appearance caused feelings of inferiority, because in our society everything truly seems to surround physical beauty. When you are beautiful you have more opportunities, you receive more attention, and it is suggested that you live a better life. This alone causes girls to dream of larger breasts, slimmer thighs, wider hips, and many other ways in which they can alter their appearance. Young girls in middle school spend everyday thinking of ways that they could look better. Could there have been a way to minimize these feelings of inadequacy at such an early age?
Since 1956 when the beautifully crafted Barbie was sent into production the idea of beauty spiraled into a frenzy among the female population. Barbie was initially created after a fashion doll named Lilli doll inspired by a West German cartoon character who was said throughout the years to be a prostitute. With Barbies appearance comes the ideal look for all women, slim waisted, big busted, wide hipped and eyed. The only thing is Barbie’s figure and structure is entirely mythical. According to a Boston University student “ Barbies neck is twice as long as the average humans which would make it next to impossible for her to hold her head up, Barbies legs are 50% longer than her arms, whereas the average woman’s legs are only 20% longer than her arms. If a woman were to have the same body type as Barbie she would not have enough body fat to allow menstruation.”(K. Wysoki) So this alone shows that...

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