Monday 29 May 2017

A quick redesign at the Barbie factory will do little to solve the problem of self-esteem

'Modern Barbie may have moved on from the beach-blonde Californian fantasy girl, but only ever so slightly. Ultimately, she’s still a fantasy.'
'Modern Barbie may have moved on from the beach-blonde Californian fantasy girl, but only ever so slightly. Ultimately, she’s still a fantasy.'

Liz Kearney

'Yes, but which Barbie is the hottest?' He was half-joking, but the colleague who took one look at Mattel's three new-look dolls - the tall one, the petite one and the curvy one - was simply asking the question that the iconic American toy has always demanded we ask of her.

With her coiffed, swishy hair, her huge, beseeching eyes, her minuscule waist and sassy posture, Barbie's job has always been to provoke desire; the desire of little girls to grow up to be gorgeous, the adult desire to have a happy, smiling life, men's desire that women will always look so perfect.

Even the assorted 'career' Barbies managed to make clothes and make-up the main event: 'paediatrician Barbie' wore an indecently short miniskirt revealing a thigh gap so large you could have driven the 45A through it, while 'Unicef Ambassador Barbie' sported a Princess Diana-sized ballgown and hair to match.

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