May 20, 2013

Berlin Barbie Bummer

Hey! So we four times a year, we have to write a current event summary. We also have to include our opinions at the end and I did mine on a Barbie Dreamhouse opening in Berlin! It was a really interesting article, and I would encourage you to read my writing and then also (if it interests you) read the original article :) I think I did a pretty good job, what do you think? And would you go to the Barbie Dreamhouse if you had the chance??
July


Berlin Barbie Bummer; Feminists Protest Dreamhouse Opening

Girls have always loved Barbie and the world around her: clothes, hair, makeup, houses, cars, and Ken. That's why earlier this year Taipei opened a Barbie themed restaurant where people can go and tour Barbie's house, eat food, bake virtual cupcakes, and take a look at Barbie's extensive pink wardrobe. There are over 350 dolls on display. Oh, and you can't forget the gift shop where girls can pick out a plastic model of their own to take home.
The restaurant was met with much success so they decided to open another branch in Berlin, Germany where thoughts weren't all that warm and fuzzy towards it. The 27,000 square-foot pink manor opened on May 16, 2013, and the theme is meant to show off Barbie's “Malibu Lifestyle.” 
Many feminists have been protesting the idea before it even opened on account of the “gender bias-ness” and “shallow materialism” that Barbie symbolizes to young girls. 
“They present an image of cooking, primping, and singing, as if it were in some way life-fulfilling,” Socialist Alternative editor Michael Koschitzki, 27, said. 
Barbie has been followed with controversy all of her days, many saying that Barbie is a subject of sexism and gives girls a negative body image. 
The Berlin feminists have created a Facebook page protesting the Dreamhouse. So far countless people have liked the page and the creators have reported a peaceful protest they will be staging on opening day. 
After August 25, Barbie's Dreamhouse will be taken apart and toured throughout Europe. Another Dreamhouse was opened in Florida last week and was also greeted with controversy. 

I think it is a really awesome idea to open a Barbie Dreamhouse were girls can experience a bit of Barbie's world, however I do agree with the feminists in some ways too. 
Barbie has always been a topic of controversy, and almost every girl in the United States grows up playing with Barbie dolls. Barbie does influence what girls think they should look like and I think it is giving the wrong image. It bothers me that you never see a chubby Barbie. Every single one is as skinny as a rail. 
However, overall, even though I do see some of the feminist party's points, I don't think they should be making that big of a deal of this. It comes down to the parent's opinion whether they want their daughters to have that influence in more of a real way than just playing with dolls, or not. 


13 comments:

  1. That was really good! And the article was really interesting! Thanks for showing me!

    Kylie

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  2. Interesting, my mind never occurred to me to notice how thin Barbie is. I had always enjoyed dressing her up and brushing her hair, just like a regular doll.

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    1. I always loved playing with Barbies too :) I think I still have a few actually :)

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    2. Awesome!!! Me too!! :D

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  3. I remembering when I had Barbies and I didn't really play with the Barbies, rather play with the stuff they came with. We had this one Barbie that came with this giant plane and you could roll it across the floor. While my sisters played with the Barbies, I sat on the airplane and pushed myself around the house.

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    1. Ahaha yes! I had this one Barbie Slugbug that I LOVED so much :D

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  4. I don't get the big deal about Barbie's "negative body image." It's just...I don't...I... *stops before I get too mad* She's just a pretty lady. Does that mean from now on we're going to shut down the entire modeling industry because most supermodels are thin? Have any of these criticizers ever realized that our ballet dancers, our Olympic gymnasts, our Olympic runners and swimmers; have they realized how thin THEY are? Yet athletes are a postive role moel. It's very unjust.

    Feminists do typically support a worthy cause--equality between genders. But this is ridiculous. I have been to clothing stores plastered in big posters and pictures of stick-thin models, yet I hear no one complaining about that! And as for feminists, I'm not saying this defines every single feminist's position, but once I did meet a woman who was a feminist. And then she just asked her husband to fix the leaking sink. Ahem, are feminists not supposed to be arguing that women are just as capable as men? I actually just left the room because I was afraid i was going to say something rude to that women.

    Sorry. Done ranting now.

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    1. I do understand what you're saying, but I disagree a little bit. Athletes are very thin and beautiful but that is because they work out!
      There was a Barbie sleepover set where Barbie had a book that was titled "How to Lose Weight" and the number one thing on the back was "don't eat" which is not something I support.
      Models are thin, and some are thin because that is the way they are made but there is constant pressure on them to get thinner, eat less, and be prettier. Barbie's body is so unproportioned that if she were a real person, she would fall over.

      Ah and about feminists, that is very interesting that the woman asked her husband to fix something that she "can do herself", but I feel like it is ok to have a spouse do things around the house.

      I'm just saying that girls typically grow up looking at Barbie's more than any other toy, and that might effect some girls differently than others.

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    2. Hi July I like your blog :)

      Well, it's entirely possible Barbie works out to be thin, too. Does simply exercising make it okay? I do agree that not eating at all is dangerous, as you could die of starvation. But the amount of food one eats is entirely up to them, if you ask me.
      I am a ballet dancer. I always make sure I don't eat too much so I don't get fat. Is not wanting to be fat a bad thing? I certainly do not think so.
      I didn't know that about Barbie's proportions. Very interesting...

      I definitely wouldn't mind a spouse doing things around the house, haha, but I think it's different for feminists. Feminists, as Audrey said, support the idea of absolute equality between men and women. In such a case, these feminists should be just as capable of lifting heavy things, fixing sinks, etc. A girl at my school thinks that the physical education requirements should be the same between girls and boys, but I highly disagree. Statistically males are just stronger than females, overall. Not all males are stronger than all females, but just the genes that come with a gender.

      --makayla

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    3. Hi Makayla and thanks :)
      It is possible but according to what the book in her sleepover set said, she doesn't.
      Oh and watching what you eat is great! It's just when it gets to the point of being obsessed with losing weight and staying thin, then I don't think it's ok. Does that make sense?

      I completely agree with you about the gym requirements! Guys were just made to have the upper body strength whereas girls were given more lower body strength.
      Thanks so much for your thoughts! Glad you dropped by :)

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  5. Hi! Just found you blog and love it :).
    The thing with Barbie is that while she contains a somewhat unrealistic expectation for women and girls, we need to remember something. Did you ever have one of the "I Can Be" Barbies? The whole point was to inspire girls that they can be anything they want, their gender doesn't matter. Though I agree that Barbie's image is unrealistic (as I stated above), we need to remind ourselves of all the things Barbie was meant to show us girls as we grew up. I remember all the different Barbies there were…veterinarian, doctor, explorer, flight attendant, etc. They were made to show little girls that they can be whatever and whoever they want. Isn't that part of feminism?
    I enjoyed reading your current event! It was very well put together :).

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    1. Aww thank you anonymous!
      I understand your point. I think that Barbie can inspire people to follow their dreams, and I think the feminist party's idea is a bit outrageous. As I said, they shouldn't have made a big deal about Barbie promoting cooking, cleaning, blah blah blah. Personally, my Barbies always went on awesome adventures. I was never influenced in any "I need to cook and clean my whole life!" way from playing with Barbies and I really don't understand how people assumed that that was the purpose of Barbie.
      I haven't looked at this article in a long time but now that I'm rereading it I have a slightly different outlook.
      Athletes have beautiful thin bodies partly because they work out, but also because they are healthy. They eat right and work out right.
      Models on the other hand are very thin quite frankly because they starve themselves and develop eating disorders which is very far from being healthy.
      I know that I'll never look like Barbie, but growing up playing with her did influence the way I want my body to look. Everything in this society tells me that I need to be skinny to be pretty: magazines, movies, TV, books, everything. I just wish they would make Barbies a bit more proportioned and realistic.

      Thank you so much for commenting and I hope you will come back again :)

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Hello there! Thanks so much for dropping by my little corner of the blogosphere. I'd really appreciate if you could give me a follow as well *hint, hint* These "about-me's" are literally the hardest things to write, but I'll have a go at it. You can call me July, or really whatever else floats your boat. I live in a very culturally proud little town that borders beautiful beaches, giving us fun for both summer and winter such as swimming, tanning, boating, skiing, ice-fishing, ice-berg walking, and gorgeous sunsets on the beach year-round. I hope to make it through high school and head off to college for, well, I don't know yet, but whatever it is, it'll be something I love. Robotics, books, movies, and music of all genres are kinda my thing. I would basically consider myself to be one of those stereotypical girls who fall desperately in love with fictional boys... I have a strange obsession with tea drunken from cute elephant mugs. So grab a cuppa and strap yourselves in for some brilliant stuff coming soon!