Barbie Culture by Mary F. Rogers

By Mary F. Rogers

This publication makes use of the most well known components of youth, the Barbie doll, to give an explanation for key elements of cultural meaning.

Some readings may see Barbie as reproducing ethnicity and gender in a very coarse and harmful means - a cultural icon of racism and sexism. Rogers develops a broader, tougher photo. She exhibits how the cultural that means of Barbie is extra ambiguous than the slender, appearance-dominated version that's attributed to the doll. For a begin, Barbie's sexual id isn't really uncomplicated. equally her classification state of affairs is ambiguous. yet all interpretations agree that, along with her huge, immense diversity of way of life `accessories', Barbie exists to eat. Her physique is the appropriate metaphor of recent instances: plastic, st

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To be sure, it is unlikely that they will go to Cynthia Jackson's extremes. Jackson, famous as a Barbie look-alike, has undergone more than a dozen surgical procedures to mold herself into a real-life Barbie. G. Lord are but two of the commentators on Jackson's experiences. Jackson has a vivid counterpart in Vicki Lee, a model who has "wanted to look just like Barbie" ever since she was a young girl. Over the past six or so years Lee has undergone three breast surgeries (and now measures 34F), has had two nose jobs and multiple lip implants, and has had the bags under her eyes surgically removed.

Makeup case during Midge's early years wasn't thinking about it. The case shows Barbie and Midge embracing, breast touching breast, while Copyrighted Material (Helero)Sexuality and race in Barbie's world 47 Midge touches Barbie's face with her hand and the two look out at us with a "don't tell Mom" slyness. " In "Sugar and Spite" Miriam Formanek-Brunell pinpoints that historical irony: The "love between a doll and a girl . . " Put more queerly in terms used in Out magazine: RuPaul's larger-than-life, gayer-than-gay presence on runways, VH1, and New York radio and everywhere else .

In the world of "Father Knows Best" or the feminine mystique, attention to gender and family center on heterosexuality strongly enough to snuff out alternative readings whereby "transgressive" sexualities such as lesbianism or bisexuality can enter the picture. Commonly intertwined with such heterocentrism are values celebrating heterosexuality as normal and natural while condemning or at least rejecting lesbigay sexualities. The world of Barbie is relatively free of such heterocentrism and hetero­ sexism and thus holds relative appeal for nonheterosexual people, especially gay men.

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