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Bad Barbie

Alessia Bicknese

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In reference to one of my previous articles about society’s take on body positivity, I’ve noticed something even more apparent than what I noticed a few weeks ago. That is, society is now blaming a plastic toy for their constant need to be blonde, beautiful, and have an itty-bitty waist.

Apparently, Barbie, aka my best friend when I was six, is now a demeaning, fake, and impossible role model to live up to. Well, no crap – she is a plastic doll. She is supposed to be artificial and “perfect.” Barbie is absolutely, 100 percent allowed to be thriving and flawless! Once again, society is blaming their unhappiness with the fact that Barbie is a total babe, and they can’t live up to her qualities. Are you kidding me? Again, I can’t stress this enough, she is a plastic doll.

When I was six, I was certainly not thinking to myself, “Why can’t I look like this? Why am I not six feet tall with a tiny waist and huge chest?” Instead, I was thinking, “Wow! Barbie is beautiful,” and praising her for her beauty, and buying Barbie products! Barbie was my friend, not someone I was jealous of. It is so troubling and unbelievable to me that society hates Barbie now because they don’t sell a plus-size Barbie, a shorter Barbie, or a Barbie with evenly proportioned body parts. How come this wasn’t a problem when I was a kid? No one cared! We just loved and accepted the fact that Barbie was a flawless PLASTIC doll. I understood that she was a toy – not a living, breathing human being to look up to for the way she looked.

Take G.I. Joe for example. He is tall, dark, and handsome with a solid eight pack. I have never heard of a boy in today’s society saying that he was furious over the fact that G.I. Joe has the perfect male qualities. So why are we so worked up over Barbie? Barbie has been the way she is for years – way before any of us were even born. So why change the tradition of such a successful toy? How about this: Let’s have children these days look up to their mothers and older sisters, rather than a plastic doll.

How about we highlight the many things Barbie has done over the years? She’s been an astronaut, a musician, a veterinarian, a doctor, a hairdresser, a teacher, a horseback rider, a pop-star; the list goes on and on. She has done it all. Barbie shows little girls that they can be who they want to be and make all of their dreams come true, not that they have to look unrealistic and flourishing. I’ve never once got that interpretation from Barbie, and I’m pretty sure no one else has until this generation.

Here’s something to think about. There is tons of criticism about Barbie’s body, claiming that it is impossible to achieve (which it definitely is, but hey, remember… she’s a plastic doll). More specifically, those who claim to be accepting of everyone for who they are seem to be the ones who bash Barbie the most. Yeah feminists, I’m talking to you. I’ve read countless amounts of articles from a feministic standpoint claiming that Barbie’s body is despicable, she wears too much makeup, her hair is too perfect and they need to make changes to her so that everyone can be happy and accepted. Okay, you might as well stop while you can and not be a feminist because you’re claiming to be someone who is in support of equality and positivity; meanwhile, you’re bashing a plastic doll for her figure and beauty.

In reality, Barbie should be a role model for feminists! Again, she has done it all. She has taken on so many careers that are usually taken on by men. May I remind you all of her slogan? “Be who you wanna be!” Thank you, Barbie! She is truly so inspiring. The only thing Barbie has ever put in my head is that I can be whoever I want. When I was a little girl, I always saw myself accomplishing so much, just because Barbie was. I don’t know about you, but that is an inspiration and a role model to me. Someone who motivates you to go after your dreams and lets you know that you can do anything.

All in all, Barbie was one of my first role models. She is a bad-ass, motivational woman, who should not be torn apart for her body and makeup. Maybe that’s the point of Barbie. Maybe we’re supposed to ignore how she looks and just praise her for all of her accomplishments. She will always be praised by me for doing it all, accomplishing so much, taking on hard careers – all in designer clothes and high heels.

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Bad Barbie