It's safe to say every girl starting from about age 4 to age 12 has had a Barbie Doll or two in her day. Presumed to be one of the most popular children's toys ever created, Barbie has remained as both a childish friend and icon for five decades, celebrating her 50th this year, as reported by http://www.standard.net/live/features/tx/177629/.
So, now that she's officially "over the hill," what exactly can our generation say of this famous play toy? She's a worldwide celebrity, commercial moneymaker, and let's all admit, the most successful female at anything she sets her mind to do. Barbie has it all; a perfect body, beautiful dream house, an attractive soulmate, and a plethora of incredible jobs. What else could today's younger girls desire for? And that's where the problem starts.
Being constantly bombarded, at such a young age, of how perfect your favorite toy is can be a tough standard to literally grow into. Let's be honest, not everyone has a (natural) body with such unrealistic proportions. I'm sure most people have seen the statistics, that Barbie, if she were real, would be 6' 0", weigh 100 lbs., and wear a size 4. Her measurements would be 39"/19"/33", meaning she would probably need back surgery in order to actually stand up.
What exactly does this tell her adoring female fans? It's already tough enough being a woman by today's expectations with plastic surgery as an option for those with less than an ideal body type. And for those who prefer to stay natural instead of plastic (sorry Barb) our own bodies become less than desirable in most cases because our measurements aren't as unrealistic. This sense of imperfection is not only damaging, but disappointing. Unfortunately, becoming Barbie's clone is fueled by Hollywood's warped sense of reality as well. With the obsession America has on photoshopped celebrities, even more of our female population is confronted with the fact that if your waist isn't 24 inches or you have one ounce of cellulite, you should be ashamed. This is clearly an unhealthy view. But, then again, who knows? In a many more years, maybe when Barbie turns 70 or 80, or even 120, transforming into her replica will be standard, and being natural will be a long-forgotten ideal.
So, congratulations Barbie. You've succeeded (without surprise) in transcending the decades and remaining in the homes of young girls through out the world for an outstanding half of a century. You're beautiful. You're popular. And you're plastic. Even though I could only hope to look like you when I'm that age, I refuse to transform myself into your copy for cosmetic reasons. You've succeeded in warping our body images and self-esteem, and I unfortunately can see no end to your success in the near future. Happy Birthday, kind of.