The Plastic Life Of The Barbie Doll Essay

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The Plastic Life 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. The Barbie doll is an eleven-inch-long plastic doll that was the first representation of an adult woman. The original Barbie doll, built in 1959, looked as such, going from head to toe. The doll’s skin color was white. The hair color was available in either blonde or brunette put up in a ponytail. The face: the eyes were constructed with white irises, heavy black eyeliner, blonde or brown eyebrows, blush, and red lips. As for clothing, she wore a black and white striped swimsuit with gold hoop earrings. Along with her came two accessories of black open toe heels
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