The media portrays these unrealistic standards to men and women of how women should look, which suggests that their natural face is not good enough. Unrealistic standards for beauty created by the media is detrimental to girls’ self-esteem because it makes women feel constant external pressure to achieve the “ideal look”, which indicates that their natural appearance is inadequate. There has been an increasing number of women that are dissatisfied with themselves due to constant external pressure to look perfect. YWCA’s “Beauty at Any Cost” discusses this in their article saying that, “The pressure to achieve unrealistic physical beauty is an undercurrent in the lives of virtually all women in the United States, and its steady drumbeat is wreaking havoc on women in ways that far exceed the bounds of their physical selves” (YWCA). Being surrounded by society’s definitions of beauty has definitely taken a toll on American women’s confidence.
The role of a woman has changed dramatically from women gaining rights in the 1990’s to Hillary Clinton running for president. But in all of this, the shadows of sexism still linger in the dark corners of the media and big corporations who just want to profit. What they don’t know is that for every dollar they earn from that toy, magazine, or commercial, one more girl thinks she is not good enough, pretty enough, or inferior to a man. As viewers, we just call the show “funny” and take satire lightly, but we fail to recognize that issues like sexism and female stereotypes are real and present in our lives today. As a young girl growing up, I cannot say I have never once doubted my self-image and compared myself to others.
Sadly, most people spend their entire lives chasing a “perfect” physical appearance. Hours upon hours are spent shaping their bodies to become what other people say how they should look. This idea is interpreted to us through Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll.” In this poem, Piercy uses imagery, simile, and symbolism to illustrate the theme of loving yourself. The poem begins with an introduction of a common life for a young child. She plays with her dolls, stoves, irons, as well as lipstick, just as any other young girl.
Barbie is a doll that was introduced in 1959, she took the world by storm with her fashion and changing careers. She greatly influenced pop culture and the thoughts and beliefs of people. Barbie has been involved in many controversies over the years due to her body image and the high body expectations that she sets for young girls. She has had a significant impact on social values by conveying characteristics of female independence. Barbie has had positive and negative influences on fashion, interests and beliefs of a certain year, which continually changed throughout the decades.
The Disney Princess Effect”, really dives into the stereotyping females feel at such a young age. The sexualization of females being the highest form of stereotyping towards women. “In television shows, for instance, women are represented in far more diverse roles - they are lawyers, doctors, politicians. But they are always sexy. A women might run for high political office, but there is almost always analysis about whether she is sexy, too(page 512, Everything’s An Argument),” Hanes explains about how women are sexualized within television.
Instead of making parts of their body smaller to achieve that “wasp waisted” look they are making parts of themselves bigger by use of injections and other body enhancements.Plastic surgery is so prolific in fact that many women especially actresses feel that as they age have to get work done in order to keeps job. Yolen compares this behavior to them “flinging”themselves “down the stairs” (7) in order to impress and please others . In the real world, however, no sane woman flings herself down the stairs but many do something just as dangerous with no one batting an eye to achieve that elusive, desired beauty. For example, many women who get breasts enhancements are quite literally putting poison bags full of silicone and salt water within their bodies and going through days worth of pain and permanent scarring in order to look beautiful for other people, men and women alike. Kim Kardashian ,one of the most influential women in America.
The effects and solutions on hypersexualization of young girls In the article “Toddlers in Tiaras” by Skip Hollandsworth, the author covered on the topic of precocious sexualization of young girls, especially toddlers who are competing in pageants. The author did not as to so much state his opinion on the topic but he quoted many other people of their opinions. As our society becoming more advanced, the media becomes more outraged. Television shows and advertisements are competing for the spot light. They are essentially aiming at the younger generation.
By using imagery, symbolism, and diction, Piercy demonstrates the high standards placed on girls at a very young age. Imagery is very prominent in this poem. For example, the first stanza creates the image of a little girl playing with the usual toys, like the baby born dolls (the dolls that did pee-pee), mini GE stoves, and makeup. Female readers can easily relate to playing with these toys as children. They are the typical toys given to girls at a young age, which is the point of presenting this information.
In the poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy, the tone of the poem starts off with a child-like feel to it. The main character in the poem is a girlchild who “was born as usual” (line 1) but never gets the chance to feel contend or safe in who she is for her character but is judged by others for her looks; when all she wants is to be accepted for who she is as a person. The girlchild in this poem embodies all girls in society. It shows a little insight that each little girl was made to feel unaccepted because of their inadequacies at one point or another. Particularly in women, society has continuously had some type of control over each individual’s lives.
In Marge Piercy’s poem, Barbie Doll, she reminds young adults that the must have childhood toy was a Barbie Doll. Barbie, at one point, became so popular that every little girl was dying to have one. One main points of the short poem was asking the reader to examine what comes to mind when you think of a Barbie doll? Most will say a toy from a previous childhood. The overall view of this poem is about a girl who was born not like everyone else and she never gets a chance to make her own decisions in life.