‘I’m a barbie girl, in the barbie world
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!
You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation
Come on Barbie, let’s go party!’
These are the lyrics from Aqua’s song ‘I’m a Barbie Girl.’ The question is; ‘Is this the world we want to live in’? Do we really want Barbie as the role model for our children? Young children growing up playing with Barbie, a blonde, fashionable doll, with a ‘perfect’ body, however, what does that teach them? Young girls face many issues adolescents; our whole society is plagued by peer pressure, sexism and stereotyping.
Barbie creates an image. When you watch television and watch news presenters or advertisements, the men are usually presented as average middle-aged men. Then you see the women, who are young, busty and attractive. The media is sending us a message. You will not often see an ‘unattractive’ woman (whatever that is), in the media. This situation is also duplicated with our celebrities, most of the famous actors, or singers are beautiful, whether that be flawless skin, dazzling smile, big bust and/or a perfect body. This pressures young adults into seeking things such as liposuction, botox, plastic surgery and other unorthodox things. Do we want our youth of today believing that to be beautiful you must have those qualities, do we want them to feel so bad about themselves to make themselves want to hurt and change their bodies?
Dieting is also a problem that teens are pressured in to today. Up to 54% of teenage girls are unhappy with the way their body looks, roughly 75% of girls from as young as nine years old have dieted, one third of high school students have thought they were over-weight but have not been, and at any given time, 5 to 10 million women and girls have eating disorders that harm their health, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Anorexia is a serious disease that when people have it they limit the amount of food they eat and can compulsively exercise. 10% of anorexia sufferers have died due to the complications of this disease. Bulimia is a disease where the sufferer with often eat to excess then purge or find other ways of ridding the food from their body, this includes vomiting, excessive exercise or using laxatives. People with bulimia can suffer from teeth erosion, swallowing issues, rupture of the oesophagus, rectal damage, stomach damage, and dehydration.
I’m a blonde bimbo girl, in the fantasy world
Dress me up; make it tight, I’m your dolly
You’re my doll, rock’n'roll, feel the glamour in pink,
Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky…
You can touch, you can play, if you say: “I’m always yours”
Another thing teens are pressured in to tody is tanning. To obtain a tan you lie in the sun and expose yourself to the sun UV radiation. Although when you have too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun it can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and can increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Some teens are so determined to get a tan that they resort to tanning salons, where sun lamps give off harmful UV rays. The intensity of the UV ray received in a tanning parlour may be as much as 15 times that of the sun. Adolescence is a critical period during which sun exposure is likely to contribute to skin cancer later in life; approximately two of three Australians will be diagnosed as skin cancer before the age of 70. Over 280 000 new cases of skin cancer appear each year and of which, 1300 people die.
Students today may claim not to be influenced by the media sales push but in reality clothes, movies, and music, however the music that kids listen to are those on airways, shopping centres, iTunes, and television. Fashions and trends fly through cyber space; we watch on YouTube and listen for the newest ‘up-coming singer, we read magazines and watch on Facebook about the latest gossip and trends.
How often do you see Bear Grills the woman?
This could be caused stereotyping in schools. Often schools separate boys and girls in activities for example boys and girls day. Schools often have boys going bushwalks, commando camps, bike rides where the girls may have done a few of these activities although often it was focusing on restorative sessions, cyber bullying talks and friendship activities. Girls would love to also go on the adventure activities. This teaches girls that it is the boys that do the adventure activities, and the girls become the ‘mother goose.’ Although they say that females have more rights now days, is this really true? Or do we still have a long way to go?
We have a woman Prime minster. This is a fantastic step towards a revolution, although is it really? What do we hear about Julia Gillard? Her hair, her dress, and her looks, did we hear this of Kevin Rudd or John Howard? The messages and treatment of women have a long way to go.
Make me walk, make me talk, do whatever you please
I can act like a star, I can beg on my knees
Come jump in, bimbo friend; let us do it again,
Hit the town, fool around, let’s go party
What of those of us who don’t look like Barbie? Can we still have fun? Are we second class? What about brains and beauty, can they go hand in hand?
What is the definition of beauty? Is there such thing as inner beauty, Do you have to look like a Barbie to be beautiful?
Shows like ‘Beauty and the Geek’ the beauty’s all look similar. They all have big busts, slim bodies, dolled up faces, and styled hair. Most of them are also not very smart, whereas the Geeks are not ‘attractive’ but a very smart. The message the television is giving us is you are either beautiful or smart, why don’t they have the two of them together?
Recently there has been a issue about the women boxers competing in the Olympic Games. Boxers normally just wear cotton short because boxing you cannot hit below the waist although there has been a suggestion that women wear skirts. This has caused uproar for women feel that if men can wear shorts, why can’t women? This suggestion was made by one of the men running the sport and is caused by not having as many women having a say in the big companies.
Oh, I’m having so much fun!
Well Barbie, we’re just getting started……
Oh, I love you Ken!
Whilst these are just the words of the song, do they reflect the society we want our children to grow up in and replicate? Is this the attitude we want them to have towards their body image, the way they are treated, and how they act?
Well Barbie might just be getting started but it’s time for a change….