Barbie Dolls Barbie as a Role Model for Young Girls

Barbie is a symbol of the American Dream. Young girls idolize her, because she is what they have been taught to want for themselves. In some ways, this idolatry has had a positive impact, while it has harmed young girls, as well.
First, let us examine the aspects of Barbie’s “life,” so to speak. Barbie has a dream house. This house represents everything that a young girl hopes to have one day. Accessories can be bought for this home, just as they can be bought for a real one. As a matter of fact, Barbie influences the decorative tastes of many young girls. What little darling does not beg Mommy and Daddy for a pink bedroom? Barbie also has a pink Corvette. Boys and girls alike fantasize about driving a fancy sports car, and Barbie has the best. Barbie also has a fashion sense to top even Paris Hilton and any other celebrity of Hollywood. She can pull off glam, elegant, hip-hop, country, and any other imaginable style with charm and pizazz.
But where does Barbie get the money to buy her Dream House, pink Corvette, and elaborate clothing? Does she depend on Ken to take care of her and buy everything she could ever desire? Of course not! Barbie has been portrayed in nearly every profession a young girl could dream of? If Barbie were a real person, she would have a degree in every major field. Barbie has experience in every career from hamburger flipper to doctor to celebrity.
Let’s see… house, car, clothes, and 401K… what else could Barbie possibly need? Oh, yes, she’s beautiful, and she has a man with the molded (literally) body of a god. She doesn’t even have to worry that Ken will distract her from her career with his needs for sex, because his underwear is stuck to his body! Of course, Barbie is independent enough that she doesn’t really need him at all. Barbie does not cling to any man to be happy, or Barbie and Ken would never have “broken up.”
Barbie gives young girls a dream to strive for. She makes them believe that it is possible to be intelligent, successful, beautiful, and loved. But what problems can this belief result in? First of all, young girls may come to believe that they must “have it all,” just as Barbie does. Or they might believe that if they achieve all of the success of their blond role model, their lives will be happy. Barbie does not teach young girls that life will always have its struggles, no matter how beautiful or rich a person may be. But then, what does it hurt them to dream? Isn’t it better that a young girl have a role model whom she can aspire to be like than to have toys which teach children that life is hard? Barbie is a success because her dreams came true, and she makes children want their dreams to come true, too. Who would buy Couch Potato Barbie or Just Fired Barbie? Barbie represents hope in life.
Then, of course, we have the controversial issue of Barbie’s body image. But really, is that body real, or has she had a bit of “plastic” work done? Either that, or she recently overcame anorexia. Yes, Barbie had a body that most girls think of as ultra-feminine, but now she has learned (or at least the toy manufacturers have) that a healthy body image is more beautiful.
Of course, I’ve poked fun at some of the aspects of Barbie that have recently be viewed as negative, but all in all, Barbie has been a success, not just for the toy industry, or for herself by getting that Dream House, but she has been a success for young girls who put a bit of their own hearts and souls into playing with her. She is a manifestation of what they want in life, but more importantly what they can be.