Want to Look Like a Barbie Doll? Guys, do You Want to Partner With Barbie?
When I was a kid, the emphasis for girls and women was to aspire to look like Barbie, Twiggy, a film or TV star (think Bay Watch babe) gorgeous model, rock celebrity or female media personality. All the better if you were "readjusted" for enhancements, nose job, breast implants, tiny waist and small hips. Guys fawned, drooled and fell over you if you were that paradox of slender yet curvy. There was no sharing the bill on dates: he paid. It costs money to date someone who is gorgeous, slim, yet plump in all the right places.
We all remember women from our youth who were pawed, pampered and stalked because of their D and F cups and slender waists. Since I wasn't one of them, I was happy when times changed and there was more of an emphasis on not objectifying women's bodies. It was an electrifying moment in our culture to actually have a movement which encouraged young girls to be happy with themselves and not attribute inferiority to their bodies if they didn't look like Barbie. Feminism and later Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth exploded the need for the bimbo bombshell types and women appeared to be gaining in the career marketplace and in the mind sphere. The American Girl Doll also helped to shift the paradigm.
But the period was fleeting and the paradigm closed in on itself exemplified by the Barbie doll's perennial design. Though Mattel accoutered Barbie with pin striped power lawyer and lab coat doctor and teacher outfits and thickened her waist a bit, the doll was still bodacious; the outfits were very form fitting to reveal the curving hips and slender waist. So lip service was given to what appeared to be a shift in women's perspectives, but it was lip service. The doll's body structure didn't change. Today, as I quickly perused the development of the dolls from past to present and looked at the Barbies for sale, the thin waists, the large breasts, the slender, long legs are still manifested.
Of course, Barbie is global and multi-racial, sporting traditional ethnic dress from various cultures, and there are sixteen Barbie categories, enough to make your head spin, including celebrity Barbies (Farrah Fawcett poster girl Barbie and Marilyn Monroe). Amidst all of these hundreds of dolls, somehow, there is no scrawny Barbie. There is no overweight or obese Barbie. Regardless of how cool, powerful or glamorous an obese woman may be, this is not reinforced by the Barbie doll whose body is unnatural, rare and not representative of the majority of women's real life body types. Barbie doesn't have thick ankles, rolls of fat, double chins, short legs, short waists or sneak-up cellulite on a thin body. And with that slender waist, none of her ribs are showing, nor protuberant bony hips or a shy collar bone.Continued on the next page