Plastic Makes Perfect Research Paper

1293 Words 6 Pages
Plastic Makes Perfect (Or Does It?)
Barbara Millicent Roberts. At 57 years old, she is an iconic figure, a household name, and incredibly popular. She has obtained 130 careers, continues to earn more, and lives by many mottos like Be Who You Wanna Be and We girls can do anything. This impressive woman is just as impactful as she is stunning. She embodies the classic idea of beauty: tall, blue eyes, blonde hair, thin, long legs. This woman is more commonly known as Barbie. She was created by Ruth Handler during the 1960’s: a time when women were meant to be just housewives, staying at home and taking care of children, unable to achieve or attain anything. Barbie’s unrealistic proportions, in addition to her being considered a mascot for beauty,
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Barbie 's physical appearance, though beautiful, is the reason why she is so impactful on the young girls who play with her. Many professionals suggest that Barbie triggers eating disorders (Stone, 58) and in a psychological study, it was concluded that Barbie affects how girls perceive themselves. The 2006 study was done with “girls from age 5-8 who were shown images of a Barbie doll or a more realistic ‘size 16’ doll. Those who saw the Barbie dolls had less self-esteem about their bodies, and had a stronger desire to be thin" (“Dying to be Barbie”). Barbie evidently plays a factor in causing eating disorders and low self-esteem in girls, and the “Slumber Party” doll released in 1965 did not help. The doll included a scale with 110 as the set weight as well as a book titled How to Lose Weight. The only rule was “Don’t eat!” (Stone 57). This one rule to lose weight suggests to girls, if they want to look like Barbie, they cannot eat anything. This is a blatant push of girls in the direction of developing eating disorders to be considered …show more content…
In the last few months, Mattel released a new line of Barbie dolls with four different body shapes: petite, tall, curvy, and the original. Evelyn Mazzocco, senior vice-president and global general manager of Barbie said in a press release, “We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand” (qted in Valenti) and Mattel constantly says their decision to release the new dolls was to show little girls beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and to continue to empower all women (Dockterman A Barbie). There have been many positive responses, especially from mothers, toward the new dolls. A study done with a group of mothers being introduced to the new Barbies ended with most saying the new Barbie types makes them more likely to buy Barbie dolls for their daughters (Dockterman A Barbie), but many mothers would like to see the curvy doll be even curvier (Dockterman What). Vogue praised Mattel for augmenting a more expansive and inclusive definition of beauty (Valenti). Kelly Shamas expressed an opinion that Vogue and the mothers would agree with, “I think any improvement is great. An accurate depiction of what women actually look like is a step in the right direction because we don’t have to look a certain way to be beautiful, we’re all beautiful in our own way” (Shamas). Even though Mattel has made this change and there seems to be much more positive opinions of it than

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