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To Be or Not to Be Barbie

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Hi, I’m Barbie. Reputable barbie. Or is it…infamous Barbie? A tall plastic doll produced by Mattel in West Germany in 1955; this groundbreaking doll has set the market in over a billion purchases worldwide. Today, Barbie has influenced many young children and young adults. However, the evolution of Barbie has never ceased to amaze me. With the constant change and growth in the Barbie doll, there has been widespread news about the impact of Barbie on our youth.

Many believe Barbie is a setting stone role model. Throughout the world, we see kids aspiring to be Barbie when they grow up. Barbie is who you should aspire to be and who you want to be. Barbie is a trendsetter, a fashionista if you may. She has everything: perfect boyfriend, perfect house, perfect body, perfect teeth. What more could the average kid possibly want? Others view Barbie in a different light. 

Throughout the world, Barbie has set the standard for how a kid should act or how a kid should look like. However, no one discusses the negative impact Barbie has made on the image of our youth. A thin blonde with a proportionate figure, and eyes that reflect the ocean. Classic material girl. Heels on, makeup on, perfectly brushed sleek hair. If we do not own up to the repercussions drawn from Barbie, this idea of perfection will eventually result in a downward spiral, carrying on from generation to generation. In fact, it already has. 

The color pink. The idea that pink is feminine is bewildering. Pink house, pink clothes, pink car. The list is endless. Not to mention Barbie and her everlasting collection of clothes alongside the latest household items. For a world to exist on materialism, there seems to be no concept of money in Barbie’s world. Stores worldwide profit off of capitalism, feeding off of their target audiences by advertising Barbie collections. Glittery pink heels, pink jackets, pink shirts. Where will it end? If we instill this eccentric idea of materialism in our young generations, what will they amount to? 

Let’s talk about Ken. Thoughtful, generous, patient, supportive Ken. Reality check. Ken is a submissive, overly tolerant guy constantly seeking approval and catering to every need of Barbie’s. A carbon copy of Barbie looks wise, nonetheless. Nowadays, we hear adolescents explain to their friends and family that they want a Ken. Without a Ken in our lives, what shall we do? A lot. The answer is a lot. In a way, Ken is an outlet for Barbie to have someone do her grunt work: renovating a house or fixing a flat tire–things that a woman can do just as well, if so, even better. This idea of masculinity and needing a man in our lives prevents women from learning more about themselves. That is indeed not a true man and indeed not a true woman. 

In the Barbie world, the independent self-sufficient woman does not exist. One who is satisfied with her flaws and is eager to do better. Barbie wakes up every day as happy as can be; this concept fails to showcase the true emotion that our youth should be embracing every waking moment of their lives. A life consisting of little to no hardships or consequences puts our youth in a trance. This trance puts our youth at a loss and older generations have to pay for it by reliving their childhood. I’d like to tell myself that older generations immerse themselves in Barbie just to remind themselves that life could be a hoax. 

That being said, I would like you to think for a second. Is Barbie living the dream or is she really living a lie? 

Her name is Zara. As a junior, she is working towards a major in political science, alongside a minor in philosophy and a certificate in legal studies. She is a writer who constantly finds herself intrigued about the world around her. She enjoys walks and is always up for trying new things, whether it be a new boba shop or a new cafe.