Barbie Dolls : A Feminist Icon Essay

1331 Words Apr 11th, 2016 6 Pages
Barbie dolls first made their appearance in 1959. From there, they were accompanied by the slogan, “We girls can do anything!”. Some would classify Barbie as a feminist icon because of her message. The fact that the doll is available with a variety of professions is another reason why people would look up to her. While that is a nice thought to have, the products themselves prove this to be questionable. Because Barbie perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards for children, I oppose the idea that everyone needs to have a doll growing up. “Barbie reflects the world girls see around them. Her ability to evolve and grow with the times, while staying true to her spirit, is central to why Barbie is the number one fashion doll in the world” stated Mattel President Richard Dixon. In some ways Dixon is right, Barbie does reflect the world around young girls, but that is not necessarily positive. The amount of pressure put on children to look a certain way in order to be classified as beautiful is tremendous. Whether watching television or flipping through a magazine, most of the time all you see are women who are size 0’s or men with chiseled abs. These images can be harmful to children both mentally and physically as they can grow up thinking that they have to look like the people in the media or face scrutiny. One such harm, for example comes from Barbie’s physical proportions. Bradley University’s The Body Project noted, “In a [2003] study, Urla and Swedlund calculated that if…

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