January 30, 2016

Does Barbie Set a Beauty Standard?

Many of you have probably already heard about the new Barbie dolls coming out this year! If not, here is a photo that was shared on Barbie's official twitter account:
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There have been many positive reactions to this from those I follow on Twitter and Facebook, as well as just in general all over the web.

At first, I thought this was kind of cool. It's great to see different dolls in all sizes, shapes, and colors, but then I began to think, why is this such a big deal?

Are we (adults), making too much of a big deal over how Barbie looks? I mean she's just a doll. I played with Barbie when I was younger and don't remember thinking, "oh I wish I looked like her." I remember being very fascinated with Ken because I never seen a boy naked, and was quite curious what was under there (only to discover later in life, past my Barbie days, that Ken was lacking some important details!).

I think this is more of an issue for the adults. For some reason they think Barbie sets a beauty standard, but a little girl or boy isn't going to know anything about beauty, unless we make a big deal about it. So maybe we should look at ourselves and wonder why we care so much about appearances, especially on a doll.

Also, they did this for Barbie, what about Ken? Where are the many different shapes, sizes, and colors of the Ken dolls? Why are we so focused on just Barbie? Do boys not have the same problems as girls when it comes to beauty? Or are we still in the mind set that boys can't play with dolls?

Overall, I think the change is good. It's fun, it's new, it's exciting. I mean there is a doll with blue hair! However, I don't think it was necessary and it's a bit over hyped. The dolls still all have the same size bust (from what I can tell - how else are the clothes going to be interchangeable?), so having boobs I guess is still a "beauty requirement." They also wear the same shoe size, but I guess that's not as important as body shape.

This was a good move by Mattel though since they are going to be making big bucks!
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