How Did Barbie Impact Society

Submitted By frankiebehr
Words: 2024
Pages: 9

Frankie Behr
Period 3
4/30/13

The Barbie Doll And Its Impact On Society The 1950’s was a time of serious social and political events. America was trying to get itself back together after World War Two. Men returned to the workforce and women went back to their traditional roles as caregivers (Stone). Entertainment and media was becoming a main part of everyday life, allowing people to know what was going on in society. Women of the 1950’s were seen as pin-­up girls and movie stars, blonde was the hair color to have and Marilyn Monroe was who everyone wanted to be. Betty Friedan created the National Organization for Women, allowing women to be more comfortable talking about the issues that they faced from day to day, including eating disorders and self-­image issues. As the Barbie was becoming an icon, the nation was becoming a very segregated society (Stone). As girls grow into women they have to face the judgments and pressure of society. In
1959, The Barbie Doll was created by Ruth Handler, it created an identity that girls felt the need to conform themselves to, putting unrealistic expectations on women. The effect of this led to increased self-­esteem and self-­image issues both of which stem into large problems, such as anorexia and bulimia.
Along with these issues that Barbies brought, they also had positive effects too, they gave women the confidence that they could be whatever they set their minds to, and that they didn’t have to stay in their traditional roles.
As America was trying to get itself back together after World War Two, homes became more affordable, suburban neighborhoods became popular and families were growing larger. Men who had left for war went back into the workforce. Women who left the house to work while the men were away, went back to their traditional roles as caregivers (Stone). Advertisments after the war showed

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Frankie Behr
Period 3
4/30/13
women back in their feminine roles. They were stay at home moms, cleaning the house, cooking and taking care of the children, while the men of the house went to work each day, leaving early and returning late but keeping up with their roles as the lawn mower and handyman (PBS). After the war as men were returning to the workforce, their pay was higher than ever. This made it possible for middle class families to make it in society with only the pay of one worker. Women who wished to have a career, or get a job were referred to as lost and un-­loving women. Society frowned upon any women who wanted to break free of their traditional roles and enter the workforce instead of remaining in their traditional roles (Stone,PBS).
In 1966, Betty Friedan created the National Organization for Women (NOW), which then lead to the womens movement. The purpose of NOW is to take action to bring women into full and equal participation in society. NOW’s proposition is that women are just like all others in society and have the chance to develop their fullest potential (National Organization...). NOW’s commitment was “equality, freedom and dignity for women”. Inez Casiason, a co-­founder of NOW said, “Our passion is not enough;; we must go out there and do.” This helped give women the hope that they could transform from their traditional roles and succeed at it. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawed sexual discrimination.
Although many women thought there was little to no enforcement of this of this law (Stone). The
National…