The Classic Barbie Doll is Propaganda Essay

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Looking at the surface of the classic Barbie doll, you see a plastic, pretty depiction of a young woman with tanned skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Typically, looking at a Barbie you wouldn’t see any type of threat or negativity surrounding the harmless 10-inch doll. However, digging deeper beneath her plastic exterior, we can see the true effects this world-wide phenomenon has had on all different types of people and society as a whole. Before we begin to discuss the effects Barbie herself has had on society and our culture, we need to look into what propaganda and art are, and what makes them different from one another. Propaganda, as defined by T. Smith in his book, Propaganda: A Pluralistic Perspective, is “a form of communication …show more content…
Strolling through a local toy store, the Barbie section is noticeably the most prominent, attention grabbing section of the entire store. With bright pink packaging and bubbly cartoon depictions of the smiling doll with the aid of big, swoopy, cursive lettering, the Barbie boxes match the stereotypical idea of femininity. It is almost inevitable that any little girl in the store will be drawn to the doll. These characteristics of Barbie’s packaging already set a preset for the doll’s propaganda. The bright color choices and feminine font creates the assumption that the dolls are solely meant for girls and that women are expected to accept pink as the color of their gender. Already, with just the packaging, children are affected because they learn that pink is meant for girls. Because Barbie is such a huge brand and she is everywhere all over the world, a universal assumption has been made that Barbie dolls are meant for girls. This then leads into the next issue Barbie creates for little girls.

Since it is assumed that Barbie is meant for little girls, who just so happen to still be trying to figure out the world and how it works, these little girls look at their Barbie dolls and think that that is what a woman should look like. To a little girl, this plastic doll could be her best friend and her role model. The main issue with a little girl wanting to be like her Barbie doll is that Barbie’s physical

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