English: Barbie and Young Girls Essay

Submitted By Meghan-Hrynyk
Words: 1248
Pages: 5

Barbie's Negative Affects

Barbie was founded in 1959 by a woman named Ruth Handler. She first created the doll for her daughter because she wanted something that they could pretend to be teenagers with, instead of many of the dolls that were out at the time that they played a motherly role to (Barbie Collector). The purpose of this paper is to show that Barbie has a negative affect on young girls self esteem. Barbie has a negative influence on young girls because she has a unrealistic body image, she gives young girls the idea that they need to look perfect, and she teaches girls to be materialistic. One reason that Barbie has a negative affect on young girls is because she gives them the idea that their bodies should look just like hers. The barbie doll has a slim waist, large breasts and a flat stomach. On average American girls will own at least seven Barbies in their lifetime (Barbie Media). Many girls grow up thinking that if they do not have the same figure as barbie, something is wrong with them. If Barbie were life size, she would be five feet and nine inches tall, weigh 100 pounds, and have a size three shoe. In 1965 the creator of Barbie came out with "Slumber Party Barbie." This Barbie came complete with a scale permanently set at 100 pounds. The Doll also came with a book titled "How to Lose Weight" and inside the book read "Don't eat" (Huffington Post). Barbies appearances can lead many girls down a path of anorexia and bulimia in their effort to maintain high standards of perfection, like Barbie. It is estimated that eight million people in the U.S. have eating disorders and 85-90% of those people are female (ANAD Eating Disorders). Women are proven to be more likely to develop an eating disorder, and playing with a unrealistic doll for multiple hours as a child does not help. Many of these people with eating disorders have admitted to worrying about their weight as early as age six, also the same age that many girls get their first Barbie. I remember playing with Barbies when I was younger. I would dress her in her tiny belly shirts that would barely fit over her large breasts and would fit snug against her flat stomach. As I grew older I became obsessed with the attaining the perfect body. Although I would not picture the exact image of Barbie in my head, I would picture many of the features that she has. Some nights I can spend hours in the gym running on the treadmill trying to get a perfectly flat stomach like hers, and at dinner I'll skip dessert in hopes to have her perfectly slim bikini body. I think that the Barbie Doll has definitely had negative affect on me. Although in my mind I am not always picturing the Barbie doll when I think of what I want to look like, I picture the features of her body that I would want to achieve. Girls should learn at a young age to love themselves no matter how they look, rather than compare themselves to a piece of plastic. Another reason that Barbie has a negative affect on young girls is because she gives the wrong idea of the perfect look. Barbie gives girls the idea that they need to spend tons of money and look unnatural to achieve the perfect look. The doll teaches girls that they should always look put together and fancy, with her perfect hair, perfect makeup and symmetrical facial dimensions. The Barbie leads girls to spend hours piling makeup onto their faces, destroying their hair with dyes, straighteners, and curling irons, and hating their noses, eyes, and mouthes. Girls will look forward to finally turning eighteen just so that they can get a nose job, or lip injections. Some older, richer women spend thousands of dollars trying to achieve the "perfect" look. They will go to any measure including plastic surgeries, face lifts, and hiring professional stylists. A woman from the UK named Sarah Burge spent over one million dollars to achieve the Barbie look. She lasers a layer off her skin five times a year for a more youthful look, has had five