B.A.R.B.I.E. Barbie Girls Will Continue

Reading Why Lamilly Won’t Last, gives the reader a completely different viewpoint on the longevity of the Barbie. While talking on the points of Barbie’s being unrealistic the author, Elizabeth Chen, makes the assertion that Barbie’s being unrealistic is exactly why they’ve been popular for so long. Because of their unrealistic bodies children are more apt to use their imaginations with the dolls. The author cites interviews and student papers were the informants described using Barbies for almost everything except their intended use, including “staged Barbie—Ken sex scenes”, and “‘take their heads off and I go bowling!’”. It becomes clear that the author does not see the Barbie doll as a problem because young children seem to be able to use their imagination more to play with something if it is more unrealistic, because the real problem comes from, “when people try to translate a Barbie into a “real woman””.

Instead of seeing Barbies as a set of standards, which are impossible to achieve, the students had seen them as something they could do anything. In this piece it is not the doll that the author claims is causing problems within girls, “but the culture that produces Barbie,”. Rather then blaming Barbie for the societal pressures that girls feel in relation to their appearances this piece puts an emphasis on how it is still our culture, and “body-conscience girl-oriented pursuits”, and that Barbie is merely a byproduct of this culture. The point that the author makes is not that we need to fix what Barbie is, but that we need to fix why Barbie is what she is.

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