Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unrealistic Expectations

After reading everyone's posts and reflecting on how women are portrayed to children in various aspects of media, I was inspired to write a blog post about unrealistic expectations of women.

Wonder Woman always looks beautiful, thin, and made-up. What kind of message is this sending to young girls? Yes, Wonder Woman is inspirational and considered to be a "role model" to young girls, but she is also teaching them that physical beauty is one of the most important things.

While it worries me that young girls are not being exposed to enough powerful, independent role models, it also worries me because the ones they are exposed to value outer beauty so much.

In this article, BBC News addresses Barbie and her unrealistic proportions. Basically, if a Barbie doll was blown up to "full" size, she would be seven and a half feet tall! Also, they showed that Barbie dolls lack a healthy amount of body fat. This is a picture from the article, as well:
Girls are exposed to these horrible expectations from such a young age, even when they cannot comprehend what they are seeing. They view Barbie dolls as beautiful role models; it is frightening to know that these girls' "role models" could actually be detrimental to their self-esteem or aid in causing future eating disorders.

While I did talk about Wonder Woman earlier in my post, I realize that she is a much better role model than Barbie. She does illustrate the importance of physical beauty, yet she also combats evil and acts on her morals.


  1. This article makes me glad that I use to totally destroy my barbies with kiddie scissors when I was young. The model of Libby in 5' 6" "Barbie doll" form looks absolutely hysterical...waist the size of a regular woman's leg...giant bubble head...emaciated's really sad to see that this is the only form of physical beauty recognized in dolls. If only they would make dolls a little curvier and realistic, in this model, they are only enforcing ideas that girls are only beautiful not only if their extremely slim, but they also have to be dramatically, unnaturally curved in impossible places. This is not the example we want to be setting on impressionable, young children, but in the Barbie world, it's the only impression they get...

  2. Another point that I find interesting about the Barbie phenomenon is the world that she lives in--the "Barbie World." She not only has unrealistic body proportions, but lives a very luxurious life that most do not lead. She has a mansion, beautiful clothes, a convertible, and dreamy husband (who is just as plastic as Barbie..). It is sad that Barbie, who is the role model for very young girls, is so materialistic and sets the standard way too high; so high that it is actually impossible to achieve.

  3. I agree that this standard is impossible to achieve. What most people don't think about is that behind every "perfect" person is something not so perfect. People need to stop worrying about what they don't have and focus on what they do have. However, this can be very difficult when society is so demanding.

  4. From such a young age, girls are taught to believe that they need to be skinny enough and pretty enough. Eating disorders are becoming so common, and it's so sad that girls feel that they need to lose impossible amounts of weight to be "pretty." The worst part is that these eating disorders make once pretty girls look sickly and helpless.


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