Jennifer St. John Toy Theory Ann DuCille

Posted: March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Barbie, with her disproportionate body, long flowing blonde hair, her dressy clothing and her suggestive undergarments, have been a mirror image to which many young girls have tried to emulate for decades.  Barbie has been the ultimate example of gender stereotyping in toy manufacturing in the last forty years.  Even with the introduction of Barbie playing different roles in her life, she still remained her blonde and curvaceous self except for the token black Barbies.  The focus that Mattel put on beauty, clothing, and accessories aimed at girls as young as preschool is an example of marketing and capitalism at its ugliest.  The sexualization of Barbie, with her provocative undergarments and impractical clothing is almost a parallel to child beauty pageants in the U.S where young girls are dressed and made up in a provocative manner.  There is nothing about Barbie that mirrors anything or anybody of a normal lifestyle.  Because of phenomena such as Barbie, jewellery and makeup are now being marketed to pre-teen girls.  Instead of holding on to their youth and releshing every moment of this innocent stage of life, they are being told through  toys and advertisements to grow up faster.  Not only is capitalism controlling the economic prosperity of people as a collective, they are also getting into the minds of our impressionable young children.  Such a travesty.

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Comments
  1. ct340blog says:

    NICOLE NEUFELD – COMMENT:

    This post caught my attention when it talked about the idea of beauty pageants in the U.S. and reminded me of Toddlers in Tiara’s. This is the very definition of what Barbie does to young girls and their mother’s. When you are little, you either ask for or are given a barbie doll. This Barbie goes everywhere and does everything. One of the highlights of my childhood was playing for hours and hours a day changing my Barbies clothes and definitely styling, cutting and playing with her hair. Society is teaching very young girls that Barbie is the definition of beauty and this is what every girl wants to be when she grows up. Yes, Barbie teaches some lessons about Women and how we can overcome the stereotypes of working in a “man’s world”, however even the ethnic Barbies are a symbol of stereotypes and racism. When I was growing up, I like to think I went against the grain of society and actually fully cut the hair off one of my Barbie’s heads… except for the fact that (I was young and didn’t know anything about stereotyping..) I left her with a buzz cut in order to symbolize her as a Lesbian barbie. Today, I can see everything wrong with the image I created, but as a kid I did what society taught me to do, use stereotypes as authentic images of what is real in the world.

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