September 25, 2007
WGS 220-01 Gender and Pop Culture
Susan Jane Gilman. Klaus Barbie, and other dolls i'd like to see. Pgs 72-75
• The Barbie doll reinforces social norms and oppresses women by showing young girls that they must look thin, white, and fashionable in order to be successful and reinforces this standard of beauty in America which young girls emulate and aspire to be (pg 1).
• Even adults emulate Barbie and some attempt to look like her by using plastic surgery (pg 73)
• Barbie dolls in recent years have evolved into some Limited Edition types who are of different ethnicities and backgrounds, however, they are the stereotype of these ethnicities and are only offered for a limited time or special edition, meaning they are not the norm, and therefore, othered (pg 74)
• According to the author, the fact that Barbie's head pops off sends a message that body parts are not important if it means that dressing the dolls and fashion take top priority, as well as talking Barbie who says that "math is hard" telling children that it is okay and valued in society if girls are not good at math and are not smart (pg 74)
• Dolls should be a way to teach children to have open minded views about the world, especially beauty, instead of constricting their views and showing them that fashion is the only thing that matters (pg 74)
• The author mentions several Barbie dolls she would like to see, including Birkenstock Barbie, Bisexual Barbie, Butch Barbie, Harley Barbie, and Body Piercings Barbie, which would change the way children think of themselves and others in the world (pg 74).