Over that in society you can become anything you

Over the
years, the history of Barbie has changed drastically. From ethnicity, body
image, gender, and disability. 

In this
assignment, I am going to explore how the construction of childhood in relation
to my chosen object which is Barbie has changed across time and place.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Barbie was first made in 1959 by a
successful businesswoman named Ruth Handler. In order to provide a summary of
the development of the Barbie doll sites such as www.theculturetrip.com have
enabled me to have an understanding that Barbie had many different advantages and
disadvantages to young girls out there.

The aim of
Barbie was to prove to young girls that in society you can become anything you
want to in life even if you are female. (Toni Marie Ford, October 2016). An
example of that would be a Mechanic. A career like this was seen as a
male-dominated job back in the 1950’s.

As women
were treated differently in the 1950’s and expected to stay at home and become
a housewife, Barbie was trying to portray a different message.  According to Ruth Handler, 1995, she wanted
young girls to be able to reflect themselves and spark their imagination.

According to
www.peoples.com – Barbie was mainly identified as the movie stars in 1959.
Barbie had the perfect hourglass figure, cheekbones in the top of her cheeks and
her arched eyebrows. Barbie also had dark brown hair with her red lipstick
standing out which was seen as the predominant colour in the 1950’s. Showing
cleavage in the 1950’s was the norm for women and was an opportunity for them
to show off their slim figure. Having pale skin was seen as a glamorous look in
the 1950’s.

As young girls were so keen on playing with these female dolls, it would
have only been fair for a male doll to be created. In 1961 Ken doll was created
and identified as blond hair, tall and a fit figure. Ken became Barbie’s
boyfriend and then moved in together without getting married. This is known as cohabitation.
This was something that was rare as cohabitation in the 1970s was looked down
upon and was not common as it is today. Moving on to the 1970’s, Barbie’s
appearance had changed radically. As the years went on her face had become more
sculpted, more makeup was applied and she became more tall and slim. She had
blonde hair and blue eyes which was seen as the perfect white child back in the
1950’s.

From the
1980s and onwards this is when Barbie had changed and started to represent
race, ethnicity, body image and disability in a more realistic and different
way. The reason why Barbie had been introduced with many different backgrounds
because it was to try change children’s views on white Barbie. “You do not
want your child to grow up thinking that only White dolls and by extension
White people are attractive and nice”. (Derek Hopson, Darlene Powell Hopson, 1990).

According to www.fashion-doll-guide.com, it was the 1980’s when the first
African American Barbie and a Latina Barbie was invented. After black Barbie
was created it inspired more people to make Barbie’s from different
backgrounds. Barbie also showed awareness to people who have wheelchairs and
indicated the struggles people face in day to day life. Barbie proved that in
today’s society buildings need to be more wheelchair friendly as it is
difficult for them to access certain areas. Barbie today has varied a lot more
then it was in 1950’s. Barbie is seen more realistically today then she did
when she was first made. (Sarah Allen, 2016) stated that “Barbie is a doll, she
is not meant to reflect a real women’s body”. It was seen that even black
children preferred playing with white dolls over black dolls signifying that
some children had low self-esteem. (Derek Hopson, Darlene Powell Hopson, 1990).

As Barbie
was used by children for play, the theorist that I am going to be linking with
Barbie is Lev Vygotsky. Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who established
a theory which is identified as the Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive
Development. Vygotsky believed that play plays a crucial part in a child’s
development whilst they grow up and become more aware of their surroundings.
Lev Vygotsky argued that “leaning is a necessary and universal aspect of the
process of developing culturally organised specifically human psychological
function”. (Vygotsky 1978). The main principles of social Constructivism are;
Language is central, Active involvement, social interaction, support to the
next step by a more knowledgeable other which is also known as MKO and lastly
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). When the child is learning it is usually
done by social interaction. The child can have a tutor who can either
demonstrate instructions, physically or verbally.

Barbie dolls
have been used to entertain young children for many years. A lot of parents may
think that Barbie dolls have a negative impact on young children as they could
think that they are pressured to look a certain way. However, when children are
playing with Barbie dolls they are just used to play with which receives a
positive impact on the child’s mind. Imaginative play benefits the child in
many different ways. It allows children to think creatively and allows them to
use their imagination. 

The way
Vygotsky’s theory of play links to Barbie doll is that it can benefit their
creativity.  Barbie dolls can allow children to put things
together and use their imagination. When children play within a group of
friends, it improves on their different types of interaction skills which is an
important part of developing play as Vygotsky would say. When children are
playing with Barbie they are interacting socially which means they are
developing on their language. According to Vygotsky, language plays two crucial
parts in cognitive development. These are; it is the mains means by which
adults transmit information to children and secondly, language itself becomes a
very powerful tool of intellectual adaption. (Vygotsky 1962). By children
interacting socially, Vygotsky believed that it would help children discover and create
meaningful things from playing. So, from children playing with Barbie it can
allow them to think of what they can put together. As Barbie’s are used for
children to play with, it can make them become aware of the different type of
people that there are so for e.g. different cultures, ethnicities,
disabilities, and careers. Instead of playing the stereotypical role of being a
mum with a baby doll, children have an opportunity to imagine different
scenarios as there are different types of Barbie’s with a variety of careers.
“play is structured by rules, some self-imposed, some that come from the role
being adopted e.g. if a child is pretending to be mum they adopt the ‘rules’ of
the ‘mum’ in their experience. (Pound, 2011).  By your child thinking of different scenarios
it allows them to learn about responsibility and independence. This is a very
important area for child development.

The theme
that I am going to relate my work to is Gender. I am going to link it
especially to women and how women are perceived and pressured to look a certain
way in todays society. Barbie can bring out some advantages and disadvantages
on women and young girls. The Doll had impacted many lives of young innocent
girls. When Barbie was first created she had an unrealistic body image, which
made young girls have issues with their own body. This caused many young girls
to have low self-esteem and not feel comfortable in their own skin. In the
1950’s women had to dress and look in a particular way in order to please their
husbands. Women were objectified and in some ways insulted and degraded. In the
1900’s women being verbally insulted was seen as something that was normal and
was not took serious as it is today. When Barbie was created she was made as a
woman that did not exist in this world. For e.g. she was tall, slim and had
tanned skin with the perfect hourglass figure. Women, from the 1950’s up until
the 1980’s were pressured to look exactly like Barbie and if they did not they
then they were not pretty or beautiful. Females went to extra lengths to look
like Barbie and it cost them a thousand. Women portrayed Barbie to have the
“perfect body image”. The Barbie persona focuses to much on the materialistic
things such as shopping, appearance, money and lifestyle. As Barbie was a role
model to some young girls, girls were so quickly wanting to look like her and
live the same lifestyle as Barbie and if they did not, then they were not
satisfied with themselves. “the doll encouraged girls to look at themselves as
either mannequin, sex objects or housekeepers”. (How Barbie affects gender
perception, March, 2017). However, on a positive note to women, Barbie proved
that you can become anything you want to in life as she had many different
diverse careers. For e.g. Olympic athlete, an air force pilot, fashion designer
and a presidential candidate. Girls as young as 7 feel pressured into looking
good by society. They believe that they are judged on their appearance and feel
the need to look pretty any time of the day. (Alexandra Topping, Body Image,
October, 2016). Appearance has a massive impact on young girl’s confidence
which then leads them to being insecure about themselves. A lot of young girls
feel like women are treated differently from men and do not think this is
acceptable.

In
conclusion to the object that I chose which was Barbie, I do personally think
that Barbie has changed overtime. This is in a positive and negative way. In my
assignment I have talked about the changes Barbie has overcome over the years
and how these changes have affected people especially young women or girls.
These changes have affected young girl’s self-esteem and their confidence. By
Mattel, the creator of Barbie bringing out many different cultures and
background of Barbie, it has allowed young girls to think creatively. However,
I do also think that Barbie brings a negative impact on young children
especially on their body image. Many young girls are vulnerable enough to
compare their body image to a plastic doll and feel the need to look like
Barbie, so I feel that Barbie changing over time and becoming more realistic has
allowed many young girls to love themselves and feel comfortable in their own
body. It was shown that young girls who played with curvier dolls had more body
positivity. (Tanya Edwards, How Barbie really affect the way girls view their
body, September 2016). According to www.debate.org – 53% of people have a positive
opinion on Barbie and 47% of people have a negative opinion on Barbie. Overall,
I do think that Barbie has more positive impacts on young girls then negative.
Barbie shows kids how to express themselves and that you can do anything you
put your mind to. Barbie has not let her gender become a barrier in to her
doing anything. Barbie lives a healthy lifestyle, so if Barbie is a role model
to young girls out there they will want to live a healthy lifestyle just like
her too which means they won’t be prone to any medical issues that an unhealthy
person will get. Barbie brings excitement to children and she is only ever used for play.
After all she is just a doll and she will always remain a doll.

 

Over the
years, the history of Barbie has changed drastically. From ethnicity, body
image, gender, and disability. 

In this
assignment, I am going to explore how the construction of childhood in relation
to my chosen object which is Barbie has changed across time and place.

Barbie was first made in 1959 by a
successful businesswoman named Ruth Handler. In order to provide a summary of
the development of the Barbie doll sites such as www.theculturetrip.com have
enabled me to have an understanding that Barbie had many different advantages and
disadvantages to young girls out there.

The aim of
Barbie was to prove to young girls that in society you can become anything you
want to in life even if you are female. (Toni Marie Ford, October 2016). An
example of that would be a Mechanic. A career like this was seen as a
male-dominated job back in the 1950’s.

As women
were treated differently in the 1950’s and expected to stay at home and become
a housewife, Barbie was trying to portray a different message.  According to Ruth Handler, 1995, she wanted
young girls to be able to reflect themselves and spark their imagination.

According to
www.peoples.com – Barbie was mainly identified as the movie stars in 1959.
Barbie had the perfect hourglass figure, cheekbones in the top of her cheeks and
her arched eyebrows. Barbie also had dark brown hair with her red lipstick
standing out which was seen as the predominant colour in the 1950’s. Showing
cleavage in the 1950’s was the norm for women and was an opportunity for them
to show off their slim figure. Having pale skin was seen as a glamorous look in
the 1950’s.

As young girls were so keen on playing with these female dolls, it would
have only been fair for a male doll to be created. In 1961 Ken doll was created
and identified as blond hair, tall and a fit figure. Ken became Barbie’s
boyfriend and then moved in together without getting married. This is known as cohabitation.
This was something that was rare as cohabitation in the 1970s was looked down
upon and was not common as it is today. Moving on to the 1970’s, Barbie’s
appearance had changed radically. As the years went on her face had become more
sculpted, more makeup was applied and she became more tall and slim. She had
blonde hair and blue eyes which was seen as the perfect white child back in the
1950’s.

From the
1980s and onwards this is when Barbie had changed and started to represent
race, ethnicity, body image and disability in a more realistic and different
way. The reason why Barbie had been introduced with many different backgrounds
because it was to try change children’s views on white Barbie. “You do not
want your child to grow up thinking that only White dolls and by extension
White people are attractive and nice”. (Derek Hopson, Darlene Powell Hopson, 1990).

According to www.fashion-doll-guide.com, it was the 1980’s when the first
African American Barbie and a Latina Barbie was invented. After black Barbie
was created it inspired more people to make Barbie’s from different
backgrounds. Barbie also showed awareness to people who have wheelchairs and
indicated the struggles people face in day to day life. Barbie proved that in
today’s society buildings need to be more wheelchair friendly as it is
difficult for them to access certain areas. Barbie today has varied a lot more
then it was in 1950’s. Barbie is seen more realistically today then she did
when she was first made. (Sarah Allen, 2016) stated that “Barbie is a doll, she
is not meant to reflect a real women’s body”. It was seen that even black
children preferred playing with white dolls over black dolls signifying that
some children had low self-esteem. (Derek Hopson, Darlene Powell Hopson, 1990).

As Barbie
was used by children for play, the theorist that I am going to be linking with
Barbie is Lev Vygotsky. Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who established
a theory which is identified as the Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive
Development. Vygotsky believed that play plays a crucial part in a child’s
development whilst they grow up and become more aware of their surroundings.
Lev Vygotsky argued that “leaning is a necessary and universal aspect of the
process of developing culturally organised specifically human psychological
function”. (Vygotsky 1978). The main principles of social Constructivism are;
Language is central, Active involvement, social interaction, support to the
next step by a more knowledgeable other which is also known as MKO and lastly
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). When the child is learning it is usually
done by social interaction. The child can have a tutor who can either
demonstrate instructions, physically or verbally.

Barbie dolls
have been used to entertain young children for many years. A lot of parents may
think that Barbie dolls have a negative impact on young children as they could
think that they are pressured to look a certain way. However, when children are
playing with Barbie dolls they are just used to play with which receives a
positive impact on the child’s mind. Imaginative play benefits the child in
many different ways. It allows children to think creatively and allows them to
use their imagination. 

The way
Vygotsky’s theory of play links to Barbie doll is that it can benefit their
creativity.  Barbie dolls can allow children to put things
together and use their imagination. When children play within a group of
friends, it improves on their different types of interaction skills which is an
important part of developing play as Vygotsky would say. When children are
playing with Barbie they are interacting socially which means they are
developing on their language. According to Vygotsky, language plays two crucial
parts in cognitive development. These are; it is the mains means by which
adults transmit information to children and secondly, language itself becomes a
very powerful tool of intellectual adaption. (Vygotsky 1962). By children
interacting socially, Vygotsky believed that it would help children discover and create
meaningful things from playing. So, from children playing with Barbie it can
allow them to think of what they can put together. As Barbie’s are used for
children to play with, it can make them become aware of the different type of
people that there are so for e.g. different cultures, ethnicities,
disabilities, and careers. Instead of playing the stereotypical role of being a
mum with a baby doll, children have an opportunity to imagine different
scenarios as there are different types of Barbie’s with a variety of careers.
“play is structured by rules, some self-imposed, some that come from the role
being adopted e.g. if a child is pretending to be mum they adopt the ‘rules’ of
the ‘mum’ in their experience. (Pound, 2011).  By your child thinking of different scenarios
it allows them to learn about responsibility and independence. This is a very
important area for child development.

The theme
that I am going to relate my work to is Gender. I am going to link it
especially to women and how women are perceived and pressured to look a certain
way in todays society. Barbie can bring out some advantages and disadvantages
on women and young girls. The Doll had impacted many lives of young innocent
girls. When Barbie was first created she had an unrealistic body image, which
made young girls have issues with their own body. This caused many young girls
to have low self-esteem and not feel comfortable in their own skin. In the
1950’s women had to dress and look in a particular way in order to please their
husbands. Women were objectified and in some ways insulted and degraded. In the
1900’s women being verbally insulted was seen as something that was normal and
was not took serious as it is today. When Barbie was created she was made as a
woman that did not exist in this world. For e.g. she was tall, slim and had
tanned skin with the perfect hourglass figure. Women, from the 1950’s up until
the 1980’s were pressured to look exactly like Barbie and if they did not they
then they were not pretty or beautiful. Females went to extra lengths to look
like Barbie and it cost them a thousand. Women portrayed Barbie to have the
“perfect body image”. The Barbie persona focuses to much on the materialistic
things such as shopping, appearance, money and lifestyle. As Barbie was a role
model to some young girls, girls were so quickly wanting to look like her and
live the same lifestyle as Barbie and if they did not, then they were not
satisfied with themselves. “the doll encouraged girls to look at themselves as
either mannequin, sex objects or housekeepers”. (How Barbie affects gender
perception, March, 2017). However, on a positive note to women, Barbie proved
that you can become anything you want to in life as she had many different
diverse careers. For e.g. Olympic athlete, an air force pilot, fashion designer
and a presidential candidate. Girls as young as 7 feel pressured into looking
good by society. They believe that they are judged on their appearance and feel
the need to look pretty any time of the day. (Alexandra Topping, Body Image,
October, 2016). Appearance has a massive impact on young girl’s confidence
which then leads them to being insecure about themselves. A lot of young girls
feel like women are treated differently from men and do not think this is
acceptable.

In
conclusion to the object that I chose which was Barbie, I do personally think
that Barbie has changed overtime. This is in a positive and negative way. In my
assignment I have talked about the changes Barbie has overcome over the years
and how these changes have affected people especially young women or girls.
These changes have affected young girl’s self-esteem and their confidence. By
Mattel, the creator of Barbie bringing out many different cultures and
background of Barbie, it has allowed young girls to think creatively. However,
I do also think that Barbie brings a negative impact on young children
especially on their body image. Many young girls are vulnerable enough to
compare their body image to a plastic doll and feel the need to look like
Barbie, so I feel that Barbie changing over time and becoming more realistic has
allowed many young girls to love themselves and feel comfortable in their own
body. It was shown that young girls who played with curvier dolls had more body
positivity. (Tanya Edwards, How Barbie really affect the way girls view their
body, September 2016). According to www.debate.org – 53% of people have a positive
opinion on Barbie and 47% of people have a negative opinion on Barbie. Overall,
I do think that Barbie has more positive impacts on young girls then negative.
Barbie shows kids how to express themselves and that you can do anything you
put your mind to. Barbie has not let her gender become a barrier in to her
doing anything. Barbie lives a healthy lifestyle, so if Barbie is a role model
to young girls out there they will want to live a healthy lifestyle just like
her too which means they won’t be prone to any medical issues that an unhealthy
person will get. Barbie brings excitement to children and she is only ever used for play.
After all she is just a doll and she will always remain a doll.