Friday, 7 November 2014

Barbie: a negative social stereotype


By Daniela Cubillos Rojas (undergraduate Social Communication student, level 4 English)

Barbie has been the favorite doll of girls since 1959, when an American company first brought her to the market. Although this brand has several kinds of dolls and collections, Barbie has always kept her form and characteristics. Her popularity has become so big that she has become an example that little girls want to follow.

Barbie is a social stereotype mainly because this doll represents the characteristics of a perfect female body. Generally, Barbie is a tall woman with long blonde hair, blue or green eyes, a small nose and delicate lips. Her body is very slim and has a flawless form. The controversy is the fact that the perfect body of Barbie is etched into the minds of young girls until they think that this body is what they must have in the future.

Another negative consequence is that the ideal Barbie can produce low self-esteem when these girls become teenagers. This could happen because this doll is promoting a superficial concept of beauty. So the girls, from children to adolescents, who don´t have those specific characteristics, feel dissatisfied with their bodies and likewise their self-esteem starts to decrease.

Furthermore, in Colombia Barbie is a bigger problem. This is because people here have different skin colors and most of these dolls are white. So if a Colombian girl has dark skin, she won’t feel beautiful and she will want to change her skin and her whole body, because all little girls want to become Barbie. 

We can’t make the company stop selling Barbie or change her appearance. The solution is with the parents who can teach their daughters that there are other things that are more important than fashion, a perfect body or superficial thoughts. 

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