Barbie And Batman's Use Of Toys And Gender Roles

2231 Words 9 Pages
Play is a major part of a child’s life and the use of toys within their play has had a significant influence on their self esteem and gender roles. Popular toys such as Barbie and Batman are being blamed for children developing a negative view of what is beautiful and acceptable in society. Barbie has always been a controversial issue as it gives young girls an unrealistic sense of what a woman should look like. Whereas Batman insights and sends a message to boys to be strong and tough. The toys a child plays with can shape their skills and the roles they will participate in later on in life. The marketing of toys is aimed at children because they are easily influenced and do not have the cognitive skills to understand the underlying message. …show more content…
Barbie has been affecting young girls between the ages of 3-7 in regards to their self esteem. Barbie has unrealistic body proportions which gives young girls unrealistic ideas of what is considered to be the perfect woman within society. If Barbie was a real woman she would stand at 5’6”, weigh nearly 120 pounds or 54 kilograms, have a 32 inch chest, 16 inch waist and her hips would be 29 inches. With Barbie’s slim legs, she would be unable to stand straight and would have trouble walking. Her waist is tiny and her entire liver would not be able to fit. This shows children that through growing up if they are shorter or taller than 5’6” and are either under or over weight they are not considered to be beautiful. The glamourous clothes and expensive taste of Barbie teaches young girls that spending a pointless amount of money on clothing worn once will give them the head start to becoming a real life Barbie. A child such as Blue Ivy who is the daughter of Jay-Z and Beyoncè has a customised Barbie with diamond gems and white gold that cost $80,000. The Disney Princes are sending a clear message to young boys that wealth, charm, being famous and good looking is very important to be a successful man. Figure 2 supports this. The same way that Barbie is distressing young girls with her unrealistic measurements and proportions, Batman is affecting young boys. Boys are being bombarded with the message …show more content…
Whereas parents buy boys chemistry sets, tool kits, doctor’s bags, building blocks and wheel toys to promote the male dominated fields of work. This conveys two extremely different messages as children learn roles and skill from their play. The toys they play with often determine which roles and skills they learn. Many of the well known and favourite toys are gender biased, as most boys will learn warrior-like roles from popular characters the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and girls will learn to nurture through the popular baby dolls. Girl’s toys generally stress beauty and appearance while boys focus on respect of their physical abilities. The baby born doll teaches young girls that their roles take place within the home. The slogan of the baby born doll is “Without you, Baby Newborn could not survive. Through your love and support Baby Newborn can grow to be just like you.” This conveys the message of the stereotype that women are to stay home and take care of the children. Boy’s toys are sending messages that being active and assertive can often associate within violent activities and war games. Young boys learn to be strong and tough in order to be accepted as a real man. Dramatic play is generally aimed at girls as it is a traditional housekeeping corner, filled with frilly girls’ clothes, shoes and bags. However,

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