In 1959, the year Mattel, Inc. created America’s favorite doll, Barbie, we were also introduced to her very first commercial. Shown in black and white, we see different types of Barbies sold with a variety of accessories. “Barbie, you are beautiful. You make me see, my Barbie doll is really real.” With this introduction and an accompanying happy jingle, America gets its first glimpse of Barbie.
From just this phrase, little girls everywhere fall in love with Barbie within the first fifteen seconds of this commercial. She is “small and so petite” and “the clothes and figure look so neat.” As these words are sung, little girls immediately agree and want to be exactly like Barbie. This is where it all begins.
As time passes and these little girls carry on the idea of being just like Barbie, they start dressing and acting like her because they think she is perfect. Since girls see other people like Barbie, they think this must be the role I need to play to be liked. Therefore, they attempt to transform themselves into Barbie.
As young girls mature into women, the idea of becoming Barbie continues. With these two videos, we see two different women teaching others about how they can look beautiful, which is exactly what most women want to do. However, there is one huge difference in these two videos. One has recorded the entire video as complete sarcasm and the other is really passionate about what she is teaching to others.
In the first video by Jenna Marbles, a YouTube star, she teaches others “How to Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking.” With a few steps, one will be completely transformed. She introduces the video and its goal as, in the end, looking nothing like one’s self. After straightening her hair (after it has been bleached), layering make-up, adding black eye shadow, and, of course, some “streetwalker” lipstick, she has reached her goal of looking somewhat more beautiful. Obviously, this is the sarcastic outlook on transforming into Barbie. However, this is ironic because many women do follow this routine of getting ready, which is humorous seeing that Jenna Marbles did this as a joke.
Next, we see a video that will make “you look like the perfect plastic Barbie doll.” Then, this YouTube tutorial, by Michelle Phan, takes us through eight whole minutes of putting make-up on the face, a wig on the head, and adding accessories. After Phan has used everything from acne serum to a platinum blonde wig, she has taught how someone can look exactly like Barbie. Not only does she use a lot of make-up, she also adds make-up in strange places to make her face look different, such as her nose and lips. While some could be at home watching this to dress up for Halloween, some are definitely taking notes for their everyday lifestyle.
While many women do simply put on a lot of make-up because they think it looks good and brings them attention, some take it way too far with Botox, lip injections, and plastic surgery.
While this “real-life Ukrainian Barbie doll” claims to have a completely natural body, with just a glimpse of her picture, one would have a hard time believing such an outlandish statement. This twenty-one-year-old girl just recently hit top news because of her crazy body and features. The proportions are not exactly those of Barbie. However, she has a very small waist, wide hips, large breasts, and a face exactly like Barbie’s face.
Even though she claims to be natural, plastic surgeons believe differently. On ABC’s Good Morning America, a clip was done on this Barbie look-a-like and the anchors spoke with a plastic surgeon who estimated that she probably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in different surgeries that would most likely include removing rips, widening the hips, adding bones to the legs to make them longer, and other procedures like these. Now that Lukyanova has reached an international spotlight, many eyes are on her, including those of young girls and women. Therefore, after seeing someone like this become almost identical to Barbie, young girls most likely feel the pressure to also obtain this look since someone has already obtained it.
After watching these four videos, there are many concurring pertinent points. However, the main idea is that Barbie leads many young girls and women down a road to be exactly like her- from her hair and her make-up, to her clothes and her mannerisms. While some of the traits Barbie portrays are valuable and realistic, such as her kindness to others and the cleanliness of herself, other traits give girls a wrong impression of who they need to be.
The importance today is that girls strive to be themselves because everyone is unique in a beautiful way. As the end of the Barbie commercial approaches, it says, “Someday I am going to be exactly like you. Until then, I know just what I will do…Barbie, beautiful Barbie, I’ll make believe that I am you.” With these as the final words promoting the creation of Barbie, young girls are instilled with the idea that they should want to, someday, be Barbie. As the rest of these videos show, this goal is impossible to reach. Even the “real-life Ukrainian Barbie doll” cannot even measure exactly like Barbie.
As young girls see older girls still trying to achieve this “Barbie-esque” appearance, they will also follow and attempt to reach that same appearance. Young girls and women should be their true selves and not try to play another role because the best role they can play is themselves.
BarbieCollectors. “1959 First EVER Barbie Commercial.” YouTube. YouTube, 21 May 2007. Web. 01 May 2012.
“Barbie Transformation Tutorial.” YouTube. YouTube, 07 Oct. 2009. Web. 01 May 2012.
Evanset. “Who Is Valeria Lukyanova?” YouTube. YouTube, 24 Apr. 2012. Web. 01 May 2012.
JennaMarbles. “How to Trick People into Thinking You’re Good Looking.” YouTube. YouTube, 09 July 2010. Web. 01 May 2012.