The Barbie Effect
Barbie has it all. Every career imaginable and what women perceive to be the perfect body. In real life this could transfer into bankruptcy, low self-esteem and materialistic behavior. There is much controversy surrounding Barbie and whether she has an effect on young girls’ self esteem. There have been studies on both sides of the issue with no clear definitive answer. Barbie was a sensation almost from the moment she hit the shelves, promoting and quickly spreading the idea of materialism and superficiality among young girls. Barbie has lots of clothes, cars, the dream house and even her own credit cards. She is extremely thin and good-looking, fashionable, she has perfect blonde hair. We all know “blondes have more fun”. Barbie clearly promotes materialism and portrays this lifestyle as being fulfilling, which gives children a false sense of what life is, and an empty goal for them to pursue. Body image distortion is created, as the majority of women cannot achieve Barbie’s proportions. . Look instead at Ken, Barbie’s long time boyfriend. When researchers at the University of South Australia scaled up Mr. Barbie to life-size proportions, they concluded that the chances of a man having his body shape are one in 50. That is a lot more achievable than the one in one hundred thousand chance a girl has of achieving Barbie’s dimensions-this defiantly gives weight to the argument that the media puts unrealistic expectations and pressures on women. (Wintermann) Magazines have morphed stars onto smaller bodies, models that walk the runway are anorexic, and pictures are airbrushed making
men’s expectations of women unrealistic as well as women’s expectations of themselves. Body image is not just appearance," said Karen Way, a licensed clinical social worker with 18 years' experience. "Your body image has to do with your health, your various talents, how able you are to be in tune with sensations in your body."(Way LCSW)...
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