As a whole, we prize ourselves on not judging a book by its cover, yet when it’s Barbie, that’s all we do.
Barbie has been around for well over 50 years and has a bad reputation surrounding her body. Many people say that Barbie is a bad influence on young girls as she creates self-esteem issues. She has severely unrealistic body proportions, which have led to devastating eating disorders, but do not let this deter you from the iconic doll that Barbie is.
We say we’re moving forward, we say it doesn’t matter what we look like, only what we are like on the inside, but we seem to judge Barbie based only on her looks, which is unfair. Barbie is an extremely successful woman.
We seem to forget that Barbie has had 150 careers in various different fields, which shows young girls that they can do whatever they put their minds to. Barbie’s motto is ‘You can be anything.” In AdAge, Lisa McKnight, senior VP-marketing for Mattel North America said, “Since Barbie’s creation, she has always empowered girls to be whoever they want to be.”
Barbie has many jobs in predominantly-male areas, such as S.T.E.M. This shows girls that they can enter whatever field of work they would like to. Barbie has had careers in education, military, medicine and so on.
Not only does Barbie show young girls they can be anything, but she promotes creativity. Check out this video representing what young girls imagine when they are playing with Barbie.
Dressing Barbie up can be a good creative outlet in young children. There are many different styles and colors to dress her in. Some children even make clothes for her. There are even YouTube channels surrounding ‘how to make’ Barbie items.
While Barbie has had a negative influence on young girls, we can’t assume she is all bad. Peggy Orenstein, wrote in AdAge, “to say that one product is evil or that one product will make a difference in a girl’s life is ludicrous.” We have to look at more than one aspect of the impact Barbie has on young girls before banning her from our homes.