Short skirts, tiny waists, large breasts, and flawless airbrushed smiling faces. These are the images of womanhood that I have seen while I was growing up. I see them on the television, on the sides of buses, on billboards, magazines, and everywhere else.
And I wonder why so many female adolescents have self-image and weight issues? Add these limited images of feminine beauty a little baby pink, blond hair, blue eyes, and what do we have? I would have to guess the beloved plastic childhood toy that smiles out to us in the Pepto-Bismol coloured isles at Wal-Mart – Barbie. Since the time I was a toddler, I have witnessed the preaching of society that, features like Barbie’s are the epitome of what it means to be beautiful woman. Tiny waists and large breasts were beginning to come out as the image of feminine beauty. Society has unconsciously made women focus their attention on their looks, which in my opinion has turned into a social disease.
I think that Barbie was an early advocator of the “beauty myth”. A doll who, if she were real, would be too thin to fit all of her internal organs and is too busty to stand under her own power. Barbie living in her pink palace and riding her pink corvette with her molded man Ken. Barbie had taught me that every member of society was living this very same life.
I have to question if the weight of responsibility for this beauty myth falls only on Barbie’s tiny plastic shoulders? But of course not! To be fair, Barbie was not the only culprit, I can remember getting dolls whose main purpose was to remove or apply make-up, style hair, or spend fake money with a fake credit cards, as if that’s all it meant to be a woman! Barbie had now redefined what is was like to be a feminine in our society. Although today I can see more of an ethnic variety when it comes to dolls, but the majority has perfect white skin. I still believe that Barbie reigns as Queen of it all; queen of pink, of porn-star bodies, of tiny designer clothes, and of tiny pink malls. I see these images everywhere: in every ad, on every television show, on the big screen, and staring down at us from billboards.
I think that Barbie has contributed largely to the problem, to the point she may be the root of this situation? I think that more women are identifying their insecurities with their low body image, as a result of this culture. For Example, I remember the lawsuit against Mattel having to change the size of Barbie’s breasts, reducing them in size. Barbie also had to pack on a little more weight in the waist area. I wonder if things like these cure our North American culture of its beauty myth? Of course not.
At least some reforms have been attempted. But I suppose this is a start.