Essay on Toys as Role Models
Judy Attfield, who holds a PhD in history and design, has written numerous articles in relation to design history. Her articles, often written in a formal and informative style, concentrate on parenting and family issues. Citing the differences in the maneuverability designs of Barbie and Action Man, which embody the stereotypical cliché of feminine passivity and masculine activity respectively, “Barbie and Action Man: Adult toys for girls and boys, 1959-93” (P. Kirkham (Ed.), The Gendered Object (80-89). Manchester: Manchester University Press) by Judy Attfield argues that children are not only able to subvert toy’s stereotypical meanings but also create fantasies of their own.
Targeting the general public in …show more content…
The statistical fact on the popularity of Barbie and Action Man suggests that a child’s interest in toys is based on the perceivable characteristics given to them. Children are attracted to the characteristics that popular toys possess and wish to attain or at least experience them through role-play. The characteristics associated with the two toys under scrutiny are Barbie’s passivity and image as a petite young model, glamourized through fashion and beauty, and Action Man’s action-filled role as a soldier who is full of valor in the battlefield. Considering how Barbie and Action Man objectify gender as ‘adult’ dolls (Attfield, 1996), it can be