This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Exploring Body Image Issues Via The Barbie Doll

2763 words - 11 pages

Picture yourself as the ‘perfect’ woman. Embodying every woman’s dream. You are undeniably gorgeous, weighing in at 100 pounds, standing 6 feet tall and holding nearly 150 careers (barbiemedia.com). Yes, this is the beloved, ever so ‘inspirational’ childhood toy, the perfectly perfect Barbie Doll. Barbie is America’s most beloved toy, considering young girls between the ages of three and eleven own at least 10 Barbie’s throughout their childhood (‘Life in Plastic’). As creator of the Barbie Doll once said, “My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented that a woman has choices,” (Handler). However, Barbie has proved to serve the opposite effect and these ‘choices’ are growing slimmer and slimmer with increased exposure to this popular doll. The ‘Barbie Syndrome’ is an undeniable culprit of girls’ inherent desire to strive for perfection. Barbie’s unattainable beauty, multitude of different careers, and extreme lack of diversity has lead to overall negative effects within women in today’s society. Consequences include ceaseless desire to be perfect, perceived limitations on future careers, and overall lower rates of self-esteem.
Since Barbie’s debut in 1959 she has been influencing young girls and swaying their perceptions of beauty when in reality her body, measuring 39-18-33 (bust, waist, hips) is unable to bear a child, she would be incapable of holding up her own back and neck and she is so disproportioned she would need to crawl on all fours (Slayen). Despite popular belief, maybe it is beginning to seem as if Barbie is not so perfect after all. However that has not stopped young girls from admiring their Barbie Dolls perfection, and in turn establishing Barbie as a role model, and body inspiration in the early stages of their lives.
The Barbie Dolls stature is one that is often admired by most young women. Unfortunately, it also is highly unattainable and instills unrealistic goals in girls’ minds. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, there are up to 24 million people suffering from eating disorders and 86% of those are under the age of 20 (anad.org). That being said, negative adverse effects are often the results of our world placing the upmost importance on body image. At Radboud University, Doeschka Anschutz and Rutger Engels conducted an experiment designed to test the effects of playing with thin dolls on body image and food intake in 6-10 year old girls. After splitting the girls into three different groups where they either played with a thin doll, an average sized doll or a slightly oversized doll, as seen in figure one, the results yielded that indeed there were significant differences between the girls’ body image and food intake which was completely dependent on which doll they played with (Anschutz, Engels 625). For example, a girl that played with the thinnest doll, the Barbie Doll, consumed...

Find Another Essay On Exploring Body Image Issues via the Barbie Doll

The Classic Barbie Doll is Propaganda

2402 words - 10 pages the average woman’s legs are only 20% longer than her arms...” (Boston). Barbie is essentially an impossibly proportioned doll. If a human were to have the same physical build as a Barbie, “she would not have enough body fat to menstruate (and obviously to have children) (Boston). This isn’t to say that there haven’t been several women who have gone under numerous dangerous plastic surgeries to physically resemble their childhood doll. Because of

The Pressure of Becoming a Barbie Doll

669 words - 3 pages Over the course of many years, society has slowly placed an unrealistic expectation of appearance on women. Through television, magazines, billboards, and even toys, human minds have been influenced into thinking women should look a certain way. One of the commonly recognized symbols of the “perfect woman” is the Barbie Doll. For years girls have dreamed of being that perfect woman and in Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll”, she satirizes that dream by

The Barbie Doll and Richard Cory

689 words - 3 pages Barbie Doll. In The Barbie Doll, the author writes about a girl' s life. The author starts off by describing her childhood. She was given dolls and toys like any other girl and she also wore hints of lipstick. This girl was healthy and rather intelligent. Even though she had possessed many good traits she was still looked at by others as "the girl with a big nose and fat legs". She exercised, dieted and smiled as much as possible

Analysis of the poem Barbie Doll, by Marge Piercy

1360 words - 5 pages Barbie Doll’ written by Marge Piercy (1973) This girlchild was born as usual And presented dolls that did pee-pee And miniature GE stoves and irons And wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy. Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs. She was healthy, tested intelligent, Possessed strong arms and back, Abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity. She went to and fro apologizing. Everyone

Gender Insanity in Barbie Doll, Ken Doll, and The Yellow Wallpaper

836 words - 4 pages Gender stereotypes have a huge effect on our generation now, and in the past. It makes us think in a certain way that we do, about males and females; which can make people insane from the expectations. A few of the expectations for males are that they have to be strong and muscular. On the other hand female’s expectations is weak and feminine. A great example of gender stereotype having the effect of making people insane is Barbie Doll, Ken Doll

Body Image in the Media

1968 words - 8 pages way to help is to limit television, and computer time. This can help them try to stay away from all the negativity of the media. Start creating fun time as a family and be more involved in their lives. We can really help them stay away from the media as much as possible. Works Cited Beauty and Body Image. 2009. Media Awareness Network.11 Feb 2010 http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls

The Media and Body Image

1025 words - 4 pages forms of media available today then ever before; consequently, teens are exposed to a lot of information. The media is supposed to portray what is normal; therefore, it affects what society considers normal. Teens are much more impressionable then adults. What the media tells them is normal affects them more. The media’s portrayal of body image affects teens negatively through using stereotypes, encouraging sexual behavior, and promoting

Body Image Presented Through the Media

542 words - 2 pages when they talked about all of the reality shows focused on changing a persons image or making them look like a celebrity or someone they are not. The clips they showed of some of these shows proved just how ridiculous our society is becoming with people thinking they need to have a barbie doll or underwear model image. I really think the media is taking it too far and they are the reason most people are too self-conscious and are not comfortable

Female Body Image and the Mass Media

1714 words - 7 pages to gain a few pounds. But at a younger age the girls did envy Barbie even though she would be very disproportionate if she were a real person. In Piercy’s poem, “Barbie Doll” the girl goes through puberty and has a really hard time with it. A classmate tells her she has a big nose and fat legs. It states that nobody noticed that she was healthy and intelligent, they just saw her culturally unacceptable body type. (643) Media is one of the

The Media's Affect on Body Image

2612 words - 11 pages 9” and head of 22”, whereas the average American has a neck of 15” and a head of 20”) is one in 4.3 billion, and someone with the same waist of Barbie (16” versus the average American’s waist of 35”) is one in 2.4 billion. To add on, someone who is the average height of 5’7”, would have to grow to 7’6” to maintain Barbie’s proportions. Again, society twists the views of real people, to make them unattainable and unreachable goals for body image

The Male Struggle with Body Image

2135 words - 9 pages finding help. “Body image issues have never been an easy topic to discuss. Proudly, women have started fighting back against antagonistic criticism, while men have yet to admit that an issue actually exists. The problem is there are way too many men suffering in silence” (Vennie 1). Denial is something that males sit strongly in when it comes to body image. They do not want to admit their insecurities and be seen as weak by others. Men need to know

Similar Essays

Body Image Issues For Wome Essay

573 words - 2 pages Body image issues for womenYour body image is how you perceive, think and feel about your body. This may have no bearing at all on your actual appearance. For instance, it is common in Western nations for women to believe they are larger and fatter than they really are. Only one in five women are satisfied with their body weight. Nearly half of all normal weight women overestimate their size and shape. A distorted body image can lead to self

The Mattel Barbie Doll Essay

1624 words - 6 pages Behind the magic of Barbie’s creation. The holiday season is fast approaching and the list for children to buy for is long. Strolling down the Toys ‘R Us toy aisle, I find it hard to miss what is in every typical North American toy store: Mattel’s Barbie dolls. A plastic doll with clothes; it appears simple enough but not quite. From its conception in California, to it being manufactured in China, to it being shipped to the

Barbie The Teenage Fashion Doll Essay

1394 words - 6 pages start of a new revolution, as far as dolls were concerned because for the first time, dolls did not only consist of paper and cardboard dolls, but also a more realistic, three dimensional doll that resembles what girls would want to be like, and can physically hold. But, like many toys, Barbie’s fame was not without its challenges. The design of the toy is meant to resemble a woman’s body in the prime of her teenage years. Barbie is tall

Ruth Handler, Inventor Of The Barbie Doll

1012 words - 5 pages .”(“Barbie Body Image”). It’s hard to believe that one little plastic doll had such an unhealthy outcome on so many females. It is proven that eating disorders are more popular among younger girls than boys. “Many of the girls who have or had an eating disorder admitted that Barbie played a huge role on their influences in behavior and looks.”(Chubbuck) Even though she is just a plastic doll it’s hard not be jealous of her looks and life. All of the