Discussion Post Due: Friday, June 14, by 11:59pm
Feedback to TWO Classmates’ Posts Due: Monday, June 17, by 11:59pm
DB #3: The Transformation of Barbie
The Barbie doll is the world’s best-selling toy. Sales each year exceed $1 billion. In recent years, Barbie has undergone significant changes in order to broaden her appeal. According to one toy analyst, Barbie is like Betty Crocker; her looks are updated to keep up with the times.
In January 2018, Mattel announced that Barbie was getting a new makeover. Read the article, “Barbie’s Got a New Body” by Eliana Dockterman that ran in TIME magazine. Click on the link or paste the URL in your browser:
Answer the following questions regarding Barbie and her transformation:
- Find someone who remembers what Barbie dolls looked like decades ago. Ask this person the following questions:
- How did Barbie look years ago? Describe her physical appearance.
- What were her occupations?
- Could you choose the race or ethnicity of Barbie? How was it different from today’s Barbie?
- Either look online or visit a toy store and see what kinds of Barbie dolls are for sale. As discussed in the article and what you can see at http://www.barbie.com, the image of Barbie has been altered. Why? Is the change driven by financial and/or social concerns, or both? Explain. Finally, what do you think about the changes?
- Over the years, considerable controversy has been generated by Barbie’s body proportions. There are those who argue that Barbie’s body measurements deviate significantly from those of real women, and this may lead to body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and a negative self-image. Others counter that critics such as Nickolay Lamm (using Photoshop, Lamm juxtaposed two images on the Web – a more realistic body type using data from the Center for Disease Control and a model of Barbie) are making unproven assumptions about a link between toys and body image. Barbie, they maintain, is simply a toy. Yet, you’ve just read how Mattel has addressed concerns by developing new body images for Barbie. Which of these arguments is closer to your point of view? Why?
Remember, you must post answers to the discussion questions, then provide feedback to TWO classmates’ answers. Please use appropriate netiquette when posting and responding to your classmates.