In “Pretty Hurts” sang by Beyonce, the speaker was taught from a young age to care about appearances. Throughout the story the speaker struggles with herself, and she thinks she is not good enough. In the end she comes to realization, and shes says she is finally happy with herself. Between these two sources, the theme; ‘Everybody needs to learn that you are beautiful in your own way, and don’t need to live up to beauty standards’ is shown between the dynamic character of the speaker in “Pretty Hurts” and the motif/symbol of the two Barbies in “Barbie”. The themes of these sources are practically the same and revolve around the base idea of ‘beauty standards not defining us, and you are beautiful in your own way.
Your decisions to comply with society’s view of “beauty” are no longer subconscious, but rather are more conscious-driven decisions. Barbie’s slender figure remains idolized; however, it has evolved from a plastic doll to a self-starving model that is photo-shopped on the pages of glossy magazines. You spend hours in front of a mirror adjusting and perfecting your robotic look while demanding your parents to spend an endless amount of money on cosmetics and harmful skin products to acquire a temporary version of beauty. Consider companies such as Maybelline, which have throughout the ages created problematic and infantilizing campaigns and products for women. More specifically consider the “Baby Lips” product as well as the company slogan, “maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline,” that reiterates the male notions of beauty to which women are subjected.
Marge Piercy’s “ Barbie Doll” establishes the character to be a young girl who hits the stage of puberty and is then subjected to people's hurtful words that destroy her body image. Before these words she seemed to be a normal little girl playing with all the right toys. The words spoken were with intent to help the girl change her physical appearance so she could be a better version of herself, but in the end the girl felt there was no other option. She could never make everyone happy. The last part of the poem shows how society's judgmental words can strip you of your innocence and leave you in a satin lined box six feet under.
Even the outfits that the children wear here are not okay even for a grown up. In Ireland, the child pageants are about the child having fun, while here in America it’s the parents that are having fun by dressing up their kids like Barbie dolls. It’s not even about the kids here, it’s about the money and prizes that the parents win. As Ms. Hamilton puts it “It makes them feel like princesses.” (Rogan. 2015) This should be what pageants should be about, making them fell like princesses, but teaching them it’s all about their natural beauty.
Barbie dolls are so pervasive in American culture that 90% of American girls have owned at least one. Young ladies and women are going to the extreme to have a similar appearance to Barbie. Women and young girls are extreme dieting, overworking their bodies, having eating disorders and some are even resulting in plastic surgery. Today there is even an actual term used for people that are so obsessed with having the perfect body, its called Barbie Syndrome. This term is loosely used to describe when young women want to have a physical appearance and lifestyle similar to Barbie.
The official launch of the Barbie doll at the annual toy fair in New York City didn’t succeed. The owners continued to invest firmly in their ideas to transmit the first ever Barbie commercial. The first ad showed a society more consumerist. They showed Barbie’s modeling with different designs of clothing with rich details of a higher-class society, giving an idea of consumption. ‘That progress is even more apparent when you look at one of the earliest Barbie ads, from 1959.
In a “Doll House” Nora’s husband was not her prince and knight in shining amour, but for Mathilda she had her knight and shinning amour all along. When young girls imagine about a doll house they imagine the perfect doll, Barbie and Ken, with the prettiness outfits and accessories to match as well as the perfect family. Nora is a pretty woman, but expressionless and quite unintelligent. Nora has a husband who treats her like a helpless child and is more worried about his place in society. As compared to the fairy tale Cinderella her husband could be the evil step mother who belittles Cinderella.
When Snow White comes back to life, the prince and she get married as soon as possible. The Queen, her mother who tried to kill her numerous times, is also invited to the wedding. Even though the queen is angry and horrified, her jealousy wins over and she goes to the wedding to see the young queen. It suggests that women are weak creatures and act on their chaotic feelings without using their brains. When she arrives at the wedding, they make her wear burning hot shoes and dance.
To Torvald, Nora’s figure is only an accessory to his public life. It was the standard in the society and time she lived in, the husband 's fathers were there to protect and provide, they were the heroes writing the story. Therefore, Nora realizes that she doesn’t know who Nora is, she doesn’t know who Nora is, she doesn’t have an identity and decides to be her protagonist. “I have been your doll-wife, just at home, I was papa’s doll-child, and even the children have been my dolls,” accordingly, she has trapped in a vicious cycle that Nora herself allowed the building of. Furthermore, slamming the door means
Such is the case of the tale of “Snow-white,” in which we only see the good queen when working on her embroidery, (considered a typical female activity) and wishing for a child (Grimm 215). She dies giving birth to the child, and is eventually replaced by another woman, her equal in beauty, but also “proud and overbearing” (125). Afraid of her waning sexuality and jealous of the child’s growing attractiveness, the evil queen sets herself the task of killing the beautiful and kind Snow-white