Barbies on the Barbie

I recently came across a magazine—not just any old magazine, the Holiday Edition Barbie Collector’s magazine. As you can guess, I read this all the time (aka I didn’t know it existed and am wondering why it does). Barbie, as it seems, has some stiff competition. These dolls are no joke, and Mattel has gone to the extreme. Their vast variety amazes me, and the fact that someone would spend time or money, $150.00 or two installments of $75.00, to purchase these pieces of unrealistic plastic far exceeds my understanding. But these aren’t just any old Barbies, they are “Classic Elegance,” “Dolls of the World,” “Barbie for President” and much, much more. When I first opened the magazine, I thought, “Alright these are just like the dolls I cut the hair and ripped the heads off of as a kid,” but I was wrong. These dolls’ provocative and alluring faces don’t match those of my innocent, childhood dolls. Not to mention, they all look like snobs with stank-faces. Most of them have raised eyebrows, peering to the side as if teasing someone, or they seem pretentious with their pursed lips, extremely made up faces, endless lavish jewelry and extravagant gowns. And to boot, I just want to feed these dolls some burgers. Is it bad to worry about a toy’s malnourishment?

I wonder, “Really, who the heck would buy or want these,” but then again, I’m not the magazine’s target. Someone must be reading this and actually wanting these ridiculous dolls. And, of course kids; little girls are the target. I was a kid once too, and I unfortunately wanted to be just like everything I saw (aka dressing up as Britney Spears for Halloween–it wasn’t a good style for me; I looked like a mini prostitute.) But kids don’t know any better. One particular diamond covered, scantily-dressed doll’s description reads, “Blondes have more fun.” MAYBE this isn’t the greatest message to send impressionable adolescents. Magazines like this not only turn young girls into materialistic snobs but also pressure them to become just like these tiny monsters when they grow up.

The grade-A role modeling doesn’t stop as these dolls push mature pop culture on today’s youth. For instance, what kid actually knows of Elizabeth Taylor (discounting her relatives, of course)? But alas, she has her own doll. Elizabeth Taylor, in hindsight, is nothing compared to the Hunger Game’s Katniss, who also has her very own plastic persona. So, to get this straight, kids are getting dolls of a bow and arrow toting girl, who was forced to kill multiple kids because of a voyeuristic, messed up society with extremist ways. Such a good message and appropriate for kids. And finally, Mattel presents the Dolls of the World. These perfectly portrayed dolls are really educational and help kids become culturally diverse, learning what people from Chile, Mexico, India, and countries all over the world actually look like. Because I always see Hispanic women with a Chihuahua in hand in their traditional bright-pink, ruffled dresses out on the town, or of course all women from India wear Saris and have pet monkeys. I wonder where kids ever pick up on stereotypes?

My conclusion: this magazine should be doused in gasoline and set on fire, but that’s not going to happen to them all because I can only buy so much gasoline. But, seriously, kids need to be able to frolic in fields, play in woodchips at the park and let their imaginations run wild—not succumb to these unrealistic and horrible dolls that make them feel inadequate in every sense.

Cover Photo Source: Barbie via Wikimedia Commons

 Anet is a Junior Executive at SJGI am an aspiring Art Director. I love to create, and it’s as simple as that. I graduated from DePaul University with a BA in Communications, majoring in PR and Advertising and double minoring in psychology and digital cinema. Other things I enjoy include watching T.V. shows, movies and trailers, cooking, boxing and searching for inspirational and ridiculously funny things on the internet. I have a strange addiction to sour candy, and I hope to have some fun here.