On the first page of third chapter of the book ”Cyborgs and Barbie dolls” I found a sentence which draw my attention :” Barbie is so pervasive in contemporary culture that she hardly requires description.” It’s so true. Her image is widespread in all over the world, particularly among little girls, but in the beginning of 60’s , after she was launched onto the market by Mattel, Barbie was a fashion doll for adults to buy. When I think about her from perspective of adult girl, I realise a lot of Barbie’s bad features , which I wouldn’t see if i was 6 year old child. The first thing, which stands out , is her unobtainable and unrealistic body proportions, which actually make a lot of woman feel inadequate. She became perfect model of femininity, with her tiny waist, extra long slim legs and thick blond hair.
Other moderinised forms of femininity typified by consumerism are manequins . Usually, the ones that I see in shop displays are ultra slim with ultra sleek surface, which imitates skin. Shop-display mannequins emphasise non-human qualities. In the world of consumerism, woman became commodity which is easily exchangeable for better, improved model. It caused vicious cycle , where women pursue for perfect body and appearance. ‘Invention’ of Barbie contributed to tension between the real and the ideal, where precipice between real look of female and fake , posthuman body doll-Barbie is massive.
I think that image of posthuman Barbie doll is related to eating disorders- anorexia and bulimia among young girls , which has grown 400% since 1970. Small girls who play with Barbie dolls and for whom she is an authority, they familiarize themselves with the ideal look of woman , and it has further consequences in perceiving themselves.
Aiming to perfect look, not always ends up with wanted consequences- it’s often beginning of struggle with anorexia or endless feeling of inadequacy.