Looking closer at Barbie as an icon, according to the book ” Barbie culture ” by Mary F.Rogers

Nature of Barbie as an icon, has multiply meanings. She is such an icon , as are Playboy and superman centrefolds.  She is an icon in people’s experiences with her.  Interesting facts, are that she has no children, no husband, no teachers, no boss. The ‘perfect’ world, in which she lives , revolves around her boyfriend Ken and her friends. The consumerism world of Barbie doesn’t end just on dolls: there is Barbie magazine, Barbie cosmetics, Barbie art and even society. Mattel’s advertisements for Barbie describe Barbie as fashionable, glamorous, stunning, elegant. It comes to the point, where Barbie is an icon of white, heterosexual femininity  in contemporary Western societies. A lot of young girls describe her as their idol and that they wish, they looked like her. In my conclusion, she plays a big role in most young kids’ lives.  I also think, that she has the ability to define perfection, but in very exaggerated way. She is an artifact, that has bad effect on young girls minds.

The consumerization of children

In the book, I found report of girl Brenda, who said :” I used to think how cool it would be to have Barbie’s clothes, hair, styles, smiles, and all her accessories. Everything she had, I wished I had. She could have anything she wanted-sport cars, new furniture, a new house, new clothes, a big pool, and a whole bunch of shoes. ”  – I think that it’s very common reaction, as I remember that when I used to play with Barbie dolls, I wanted to be like her too.

According to what this girls said and also a few other children, Barbie had everything- clothes, cars, beauty. She represents some kind of unreal or extreme material comfort, what people form the middle class normally can’t afford. In my opinion, it has big impact on woman’s  psyche and well being as it makes us ( woman) to have a need for approval , which includes slim tights, flat stomach and boyish hips abviously  and striving to perfect body and look, which is impossible , as there always can be something what could be improved. In the book I found opinion, of Hesse-Biber, who  has published widely on the impact of sociocultural factors on women’s body image: ”Barbie also shows that a woman ”may never find relief from the Cult of Thinness.” Barbie is a fashion doll, that symbolize a culture’s idealized woman.  That makes me to think about anorexia, bulimia and about how we (female) perceive ourselves when we look in the mirror.

That’s what The Toy Manufacturers of America  say:

”Children today have unprecedented power as consumers… Kids spend approximately $2.6 billion of their own money on play items such as toys, bikes and  roller skates and $530 million on consumer electronics. In addition, children exert considerable influence on parents making household buying decisions. ”

I think that commercials and adverts play crucial role in  accelerating of fetish of Barbie consumerism. Watching commercials of Barbie dolls and accessories makes a desire of having them .

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