Barbie’s a doll. We all know that, right?
I had plenty of Barbies growing up. Who didn’t? It was fun to brush her hair and pretend that she was real. I used her and all of her accessories–the luxurious penthouse, her convertible, all of her fabulous clothes–to create my version of a fabulous life. A life where she (I) had a great job, dated and/or married and had sex with Ken (oh stop it, you know that you put your Ken and Barbie in some compromising positions when your parents weren’t looking).
As I grew up, Barbie became boring. In fact, once I learned how to read, all dolls became boring because there were books to lose myself in. The games of pretend didn’t stop they just changed to ones where I was a dancer, a doctor, a teacher to my siblings. A torn brown paper bag taped to the wall was my chalkboard.
I don’t think I knew it then, but playing out life with Barbie, as well as with my Sabrina of Charlie’s Angels fame, and Wonder Woman dolls, then later the books, teacher/doctor/dancer, and whatever else I played, was my way of testing out the potential of the future through play.
They weren’t my heroes, they weren’t my role models, they were simply the tools I used to explore life. I somehow, even as a child, understood this, and so now as an adult, it’s difficult for me to comprehend all the hoopla surrounding Barbie and what her measurements would be if she were real.
Are there really THAT many girls and women out there wanting to look like Barbie?
Don’t get me wrong, I have my own insecurities about my looks and understand that even at our best, we all have moments when we don’t feel good about our physical selves. I even understand that there are women out there with very serious mental and emotional issues that lead to severe body image issues, but the Barbie comparisons have been done. Can we move on, please?
Can we stop dissecting Barbie, and for good measure also the rest of what we see in the media, and place the focus on the real problem? We, collectively, as women are trying to fix our self esteem and body image problems by fixing the media instead of fixing ourselves. I’ve argued this before, just recently in fact, and don’t understand why we insist on seeing ourselves in the media??
Neither the media, nor society for that matter, can ever give any of us the validation we seek if we don’t feel it from within. The media won’t tell us that we’re pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, or plain just enough. In fact, they will ALWAYS tell us the opposite because if we were ever to believe that we’re enough, we’d stop buying products and they’d stop selling ad time and space.
So again, FUCK THEM!
“If there is no enemy within then the enemy outside can do no harm.” ~unknown
Let’s stop taking the easy way by blaming external factors for why we feel bad about ourselves, and let’s do the work it takes to fix the real problem, ourselves. We are ALL more beautiful than we think, but maybe if we weren’t so focused on our looks the media wouldn’t be either, and bullshit information such as this would just be an irrelevant joke.
Please check out a great post by The Preppy Panda: Body Hate Accomplices: It’s Not the Media’s Fault