A website stated that “58% of girls that are currently attending college stated that they are not satisfied with the size of their body” (qtd. in DoSomething). Throughout the world, little girls are being negatively affected by the assumptions set forth by companies and society that being fat is bad for oneself. The creation of Barbies have set unrealistic and unobtainable goals for little girls, which won’t allow them to reach the good life because they will never reach this “Barbie” body. The central argument being addressed is analyzing how a girl’s image of herself affects her ability to reach the good life. Even though society and companies have engraved into us that the shape and size of our bodies is so important, Prager and Whittal show us that to achieve the good life one must focus on their self image rather than letting society influence them.
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
In an article in Interview Magazine, Emily Prager discuses her opinions of Mattel's toy doll Barbie being designed by Jack Ryan, husband to Zsa Zsa Gabor, and designer of military missiles. The concept that a doll for young girls was designed by such a person greatly shocked Prager." Suddenly a lot of things made sense to me" says Prager. The element that Ryan designed Barbie may explain some of the key aspects of the doll itself.
Young girls have been playing with Barbie dolls since the dolls inception at the American International Toy Fair in New York. Recently, researchers have been skeptical on whether the dolls have an effect on the self-image of girls who play with them. In order to determine if Barbies have an impact on young-girls self-concept, clinicians have carried out several studies where they monitor the interaction between the young girls and the famous figurine. From these experiments, scientists concluded that Barbies can have a bearing on a girls self-image, making the consumers who buy the doll more aware of the issue Barbie
Gender roles are categories that characterize what it means to be feminine and masculine in society, on how people think about gender as they relate to one another (Adams et al., 2013). For example, women are expected to be accommodating and emotional, while men are usually expected to be self-confident and aggressive, this shows how men and women are to behave in society. However, these sayings were taught to individuals based on norms, or standards created by a society which is called Gender Socialization (p. 318). Growing up as a child, we were taught as girls to play with dollhouses, pretend kitchen sets, cleaning supplies and play dress up. Whereas boys are taught to play with cars, sports equipment’s, action figures, and weapons. However, if a boy was playing with dollhouses, or playing dress up, he would be considered gay, or not masculine and looked down upon by society, and families. The same goes for girls who play with boy toys, or dresses as a tomboy, this is what we are taught to play with at a young age. Our families tell us how to behave, our schools tell us what
The gender based expectations are taught and the sometimes subtle, often overt lessons begin at a very young age. It starts with the color of the blanket a baby is wrapped up in, the toys bought for them to play with, and extends to the pretend play they engage in. So from the earliest ages of social awareness, society reinforces the ideals of masculine and feminine throughout life. Consequently, it is perfectly acceptable for a girl to put on a purple tutu and twirl about granting wishes to her stuffed animals, while it would be discouraged for a boy. He should be outside in the sandbox setting up his toy soldiers in a mock battle. In spite of the entrenched idea of gender, some mothers and fathers aspire to a more gender-neutral parenting style, that doesn’t restrict their child to specific societal ideals. However, the pressure to conform to the gender binary is ever-present and difficult to deconstruct. The boy that cries when he gets hit by a baseball is called a “sissy” and told to “man up” by his coach. The girl who tells her high school counselor, she wants to take auto
Launched on March 1959, the Barbie doll is a toy that was first put on display in New York. It quickly garnered a lot of attention with the target audience of the creators, young girls. This doll was different than its previous dolls because it was a doll that was an ideal representation of a woman. Thus allowing young girls to use their imagination to create and act-out what this doll’s life is like and what their future would potentially be. To successfully understand this toy, we must think like C Wright Mills, a sociologist who asks to use our sociological imagination, the intersection of one’s biography and history. This artifact reflects and perpetuates the dominant ideology of how to perform your gender the “right” way in the early 1960s. I will argue this demonstrates West and Zimmerman’s concept of “doing gender” which is clarified with Judith Butler’s concept of socialization of gender.
has conformed to their societal standards. Although she has gained society's approval, she has lost herself. Growing up, this is something that most everyone can relate too.
Sally and her mom were walking in a toy store when Sally asked her mom if she could have a truck. Unfortunately, her mom said, “It’s not ladylike to be playing with that, but you can have a doll instead.” Although Sally’s mother was not completely aware of what she did, her daughter would now start to grow up believing that the world of boys and girls is segregated. This may seem like a farfetch 'd tale, but it happens to many children every day. Parents and America’s society have divided themselves on whether or not children should be raised in a binary or gender neutral setting. Although both parents and society play a sizable role in determining what gender a child will identify as, we believe both parties should support gender neutrality, and raise children in a supportive environment.
It is no lie when it’s said that media influences human decisions. For adults, it could be the newest fashion trends. Perhaps which restaurant has the highest rating and seems to be the most luxurious. For children, it’s the same. Nobody is spared from society and the media’s norms.
The poem “Barbie Doll”, resonated with me as a parent and one who works with adolescents. The speaker mentions the role of gender-driven toys as the beginning of the process to limit and channels what individuals see them self’s as and as a tool to gauge where they fit into society. I have struggled with this at times with my daughters. This Halloween our youngest wanted to be a witch and the older told her that witches were ugly, she suggested she should want to be a princess instead. I did not intervene and let the whole thing play out, the little one held fast and the older one continued to try to “cute up” the little one's costume. As I watch this I thought of this poem and tried to figure out what if anything could be done, not for
Society has a way of placing unrealistic expectations on women. By using television, magazines, billboards, and even toys we see a mold of what women are supposed to look like. In other words the perfect woman should look like a Barbie Doll. In Marge Piercy’s, “Barbie Doll,” we find a girl child growing up through the adolescence stage characterized by appearances and barbarity. Piercy uses lots of imagery to describe the struggles the girl experiences during her teenage years and the effects that can happen.
Since its inception at the American International Toy Fair in New York, the Barbie doll has drastically altered the doll market. With the abundant amount of Barbie dolls on Earth, it is clear that they have also affected society and individuals’ body images. The mental image of one’s body can greatly influence the actions and habits of a person, and with most young girls surrounding themselves with the flawless doll, they are subconsciously comparing their own body to Barbie. The change in body image that young girls experience while playing with Barbie has left many experts skeptical that a doll like Barbie should exist. I agree with the skeptics when they state that playing with Barbie’s negatively affects young girls, and fully support a ban of the famous figurine.
Despite the controversy faced through the years Barbie is an ever relevant and popular toy for young children in America. The controversial topic of the matter being mostly dedicated to the appeal of whether Barbie sends a good message to kids, or not. What most people tend to overlook about Barbie is the reason and inspiration of her creation, the feminine cultivation she displays, and the diversity and positivity of her life and personality.
Gender or sex roles are the expected patterns of behavior assumed to follow from a person's sex. Gender roles are not natural. They are formed by and vary within society, culture, geographic location, politics and time. There is a strong relationship between the social construction of gender and compulsory heterosexuality. People are programmed into certain gender roles and social categories through socialization and interaction with others.