Nicki Minaj is a new, emerging rap artist. She calls herself the new “Barbie.” Some little girls are now calling themselves Barbie because they look up to Nicki. Is this the kind of role model you want your daughter to be idolizing?
I’ve noticed that some girls want to call themselves “Barbie” like Nicki does, but at the same time, they also want to claim that they’re not fake, but real and different from all the other girls. How can you call yourself a “Barbie” but also claim to be “real” and “different” from other girls?
A Barbie is a child’s toy. Barbies are manufactured in factories and are all the same. To me Barbie is fake and plastic. Why would you want to be like a doll, when you can just be you? We need to teach our young girls that they are already beautiful and do not have to be like Barbie with long legs and an hourglass shape. Beautiful women come in all different shapes and sizes.
For generations, Barbie has been the doll that many little girls have wanted to be just like. Barbie’s unrealistic body type – busty with a tiny waist, thin thighs, and long legs – is reflective of our culture’s unrealistic feminine ideal. Girls at an early age get trapped by this narrow definition of beauty and being female. I really think that Barbie, as a symbol of the perfect female, is the reason some girls become anorexic or bulimic. They become desperate to obtain Barbie’s (and society’s) unrealistic and unattainable idea of beauty.
Now we have Nicki Minaj referring to herself as Barbie and perpetuating the idea that ideal beauty is on the outside. She is just creating more insecurity in our young girls who just want to fit in and be current with all the latest fads. What we need are more positive role models to show girls that beauty is on the inside.
I understand that my opinions about Barbie are not shared by everyone and many people don’t think she’s as harmful for our young girls as I claim her to be. During the month of March, the Women’s Center is hosting a series of Barbie events. Next Thursday’s event, Blaming Barbie: has a Doll Become our Feminist Scapegoat? with special guest speaker Courtney E. Martin, will address the feminist inclination to demonize Barbie as I have; however, Martin argues for a renaissance of self-examination instead. Then later at the end of the month, join the Women’s Center at the Toy & Miniature Museum on March 23 for Barbie: Love Her or Leave Her? This will be an open discussion where people can talk about Barbie, how they played with her growing up, and how they feel about her now. You know how I feel. How about you?