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Every single day, here in America, hundreds of little girls go shopping for Barbie dolls, one of the universal symbols of childhood. The girls squeal with excitement, "Ooh, Mommy, can I have that one?",while bounding towards the beach Barbie in the purple bikini, or the party Barbie in a shimmering minidress. The mothers grimace, gesturing casually in the direction of books, stuffed animals, board games,or really anything but that doll. "Now honey, why would you ever want to buy anything like that?" Why indeed? Barbie dolls are on of the many unreal standards of beauty floating around our perilous modern society. Children consider them innocent playthings, or collectible figurines, but they are really a prime example of just how young, impressionable minds can be shaped by the this century's demanding culture. In fact, if a Barbie doll was scaled it the size of an average human, it would have a waist of eighteen inches, which is six inches smaller than the average catwalk model, and a whopping thirteen inches smaller than a normal nineteen year old (dailymail.co.uk). However, if a barbie isn’t a realistic standard of beauty, then what is? One of the most intriguing questions of all time is,”What determines what people call beautiful?” Or, how has that standard changed over time? Despite beauty being a subjective quality, the perception has changed depending on what the media portrays and cultural developments regarding women, as well as science proving that some traits have stayed the same over time.
Throughout the last few centuries women have made great strides gaining their rights and revolutionizing feminism, but with that comes a definite change in what is considered beautiful. New jobs, opportunities, and leading ladies lead to a new female culture. During the late 1800s and early 1900s women in America joined the workforce and in addition to that came new clothing, new opportunities and less pressure to epitomize ladies of the 1800s. Preceding the mass media outbreak of the late 1900s, beauty was personified by several iconic women, most notably Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s. However, before the 20th century, the ultimate goal for most women was to marry and raise a family. Similar to the women painted in the 14th and 15th centuries a very full figured, womanly body was ideal. Later on, throughout the early 1900s new ideas marked the start of the phenomenon that could be dubbed as “thin is in”. Women took part in the olympics for the first time and weight began to be seen as a science (matthewjhague.wordpress). Soon after, with the media explosion of the late 1990s it was much simpler for ladies to find images or statistics to compare themselves against and try to emulate, whilst the fashion industry personified perfection with Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and various other billboard images.
Today, standards of glamour have evolved and changed, but not in a positive direction. Trivial...