Rethinking Barbie

The redesigns of Barbie include a tall thin black Barbie, an average height plus size white barbie with blue hair, a tall thin white barbie with brunette hair, a short thin latino barbie, a tall thin red-head barbie and an average height plus size blonde barbie.
Barbie’s New Image

By Brianna Love

Today’s Barbie doll is often seen as an “anti-feminist” doll. It’s argued that she body shames women into thinking that her figure is the “ideal” of how a woman is supposed to look.

On the contrary, Barbie actually started out as a symbol for feminism. She was the first doll to exist that wasn’t a baby doll. It was society’s first doll that didn’t teach young girls how to nurture and become caregivers.

Barbie also allowed girls to imagine having a variety of occupations. Throughout history, it taught young girls that they could become anything, including but not limited to: an astronaut, a lawyer, a teacher, or an athlete.

With the onslaught of feminist critique, the makers of Barbie are currently concerned with the low sales of the dolls. This is due to the body image the dolls are portraying.

Over time, Barbie has evolved into a series of “ideals” that mothers no longer want to showcase to their young daughters.

Her “un-relatable” hourglass figure. Her long blonde hair. Her bright blue eyes, and her perky breasts appear as what society calls the “perfect woman.”

            “Moms are probably the most important influence on a daughter’s body image. Even if a mom says to the daughter, ‘You look so beautiful, but I’m so fat,’ it can be detrimental.”

Parents sometimes don’t realize how much children observe and learn while they are still growing.

I grew up with a mom and grandma who would diet fairly often. While I was always a petite girl, I still have that nagging voice in my head saying I need to “eat better and exercise more.” It was just the type of environment I was raised in.

We are so quick to blame television, the radio, famous icons, and anyone else other than ourselves. Granted, those mediums of information do play a role in how society views things. However, they are not the sole instigator.

            If the traditional Barbie was a real woman, she would be 5’9”, have a 39-inch bust, an 18-inch waist, 33-inch hips, wear a size 3 in shoes, and weigh about 120 pounds. This “perfect” body image would likely result in A LOT of health issues. For instance, the woman described would likely not be able to menstruate at all.

This was NEVER the common body image, but it was the “ideal” body image. Therefore, it gives an unrealistic expectation to young girls. One in 100 thousand women are born with this body type.  But, should we be body shaming the girls that are thinner or bigger than Barbie?

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Cindy Jackson in 1979 vs. 2014

In 2016, the average American girl between the ages of 3 and 11 owned approximately 11 Barbie dolls. All were the same size, so that they could share Barbie clothes.

 

Barbie’s body image influenced Cindy Jackson so much that she underwent over 20 different cosmetic surgeries so that she would fit the Barbie body image. In 2006, she was named, “Britain’s most surgically altered woman.”

            “Why should we live in a face that’s foisted on us from birth? We choose our clothes, our hair-colouring. Why not our face?”- Cindy Jackson

Cosmetic surgery is a heated topic among feminists, in regard to whether it’s right or wrong. Some feminists think that we should be able to do whatever we want with our bodies. Including altering them into the way we want them to look. Others argue that cosmetic surgeons, “ruthlessly prey on women’s body insecurities.”

No matter where you stand on the issue, it’s safe to say that idolizing a plastic toy so much, that they spend millions of dollars to look like it, is a little overboard.

Kim Culmone, VP designer at Mattel, said, “Barbie’s body was never designed to be realistic. She was designed for girls to easily dress and undress.”

Barbie was supposed to be a fantasy for little girls. The dolls were meant to be a tool for young girls to imagine more for their lives–other than the expectations to get married, have children, take care of the house, etc.

The company that created Barbie, Mattel, is now redesigning Barbie to be all different sizes: short and tall, a variety of waist sizes, and a variety of ethnicities. They are completely rethinking the image of Barbie.

Mattel struggled with deciding to redesign such a traditional figure, because in past test marketing groups, the children did not like the new variety of dolls. They wanted them to look like the traditional Barbie.

Hulu recently released a documentary on the process of redesigning Barbie. This documentary is called, Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie.

In this documentary, Mattel tells the history of Barbie and how she has evolved.

“Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie, examines the world’s most popular doll, from her humble origins to her controversial persona today. In her 59 years, Barbie has become a fashion icon, a lightning rod, and a target for feminists. This documentary reveals unprecedented access to the inner workings of a toy giant during Barbie’s biggest reinvention.” –IMDb

After watching the insightful documentary, my view of Barbie has changed. I think she was just misunderstood and a little delayed in evolving with society.

 

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What More Can Rihanna Do For You?

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A photo of Rihanna’s signature

By Delaney Hopen 

Rihanna, the Barbados-born talented artist is no longer just providing you jams that make you want to sing your heart out, but has captured our eyes with Fenty makeup. Rihanna is a 30 year old singer who began her career in 2003 at the age of 15. She is known best for songs like “Umbrella,” “Dn’t Stop the Music,” “Disturbia,” and “Work” (ft. Drake.)

Rihanna started off as a young artist and made a huge splash. She bleeds positivity, and carries herself so confidently. No wonder so many big brand names want to capitalize on her name. As many can remember, she was a victim of domestic violence by another R/B Hip-Hop artist–Chris Brown. However, Brown and Rihanna’s history is not the story you think of when you hear her name.

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A photo of rapper Chris Brown

Rihanna has been a political advocate for the youth and culture of children in her home country of Barbados. Her voice has the power to be heard all across the world, and she has been known to use it with grace, confidence, and kindness. She joined Puma to create a shoe line wear. She created iconic Fenty slides with faux fur that were the hottest trend of 2016.

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Make up ad for all brunette ladies

In addition to her political advocacy and shoe line, Rihanna’s latest project was her beauty line. On of the largest reasons Rihanna wanted to start this makeup and beauty line was foundation. Throughout history, fashion and beauty trends have been all over the board. From being fair-skinned to having a sun-kissed tan. Being a white girl (who can get pretty tan in the summer) I have had no problem finding makeup to match my skin tone. But, Rihanna is the one who thought about everybody else.

The unfortunate truth behind some makeup companies is that they still don’t have products for the girl with a yellow undertone, or a pink undertone. For example, Clinique brand makeup only has a handful of foundation colors. I know this because I have fair-skinned friends who cannot use their products.

The Fenty Beauty line has 40 different shades for every skin tone to try out and find their correct color. These products have received rave reviews, and are something that you can tell Rihanna cares about. She does “meet and greets” with the buyers, discusses the products and their quality, while wearing her own make up.

She also has created a new product not necessarily popular in the beauty world called Body Lava. Fenty’s Body Lava is like highlight for your shoulders, collar bones, and chest, to help sharpen the key points of your body.

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A photo of Rihanna modeling clothes

Now that Rihanna has successfully killed the music industry and the beauty industry, she is looking ahead to another potential future in the fashion world. She has always been a style icon, but now she wants to let all the ladies know: “Your body is beautiful too!”

Yes! It is true! Bad girl Riri is starting her own lingerie line!

With the body positivity movement of being “thick,” Rihanna was a role model. She embraced her natural body and received some hate on Twitter before the movement had really gotten going. Ri is always able to make trends happen better than anyone else.  She is a key driver of culture.

Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie line drops on May 10th. Not only can we expect absolute bada** styles, but her sizes now reach up to 44DDD. When I say Rihanna’s got everybody taken care of, I mean it. She currently has a countdown on her website for the opening day and a section to register early for emails, updates. You can also register for your cup and panty size.

Now that Rihanna has your:

makeup,

                 shoes,

                             lingerie,

                                            music,

                                                        and confidence…

                                                                                       looking good and fresh!

 

“What is next for Rihanna?”

 

 

A Letter to Myself

By Makayla Sundquist

The author holds her grad cap with the words "I'm psyched" on it
Holding my psychology related grad cap. I’m obviously very punny.

As my senior year comes to a close, I am almost forced to reflect on my college experience. I have grown tremendously in four years, and because this is my last blog post, I wanted to write a letter to myself as a young college freshman. Maybe this will be relatable. Maybe you will gain insights. Maybe this letter will spark similar memories. Perhaps, you will hate it. (I hope not) Whatever you take away from this post, I am going to write it anyway.

Dear freshman Makayla,

Your high school boyfriend is going to dump you.

Goodness, had we known that we could have saved ourselves some serious heartache. It is going to tear your heart out, and destroy your self-esteem. Here is my advice…please do not go looking for attention from other men. I know it’s hard. I know you just want to feel appreciated and validated. However, they cannot give you what you need. Girl, you need to build yourself up. Focus on you. Go to coffee with your friends. Go on walks. Cherish your alone time. Getting too drunk and hanging on boys at parties is not going to fix the hole he left. Love yourself first. Self-esteem was always a hard thing for us, but as a new independent adult, that is something we have to work on. You’re really awesome, and I promise you will figure it out eventually.

Stop selling yourself short.

(Senior Makayla is still working on this, so nobody is perfect.) You are talented and athletic. You are kind and you are smart. You are creative and you are friendly. These are important qualities, so focus on them. You have a great smile. Smile more often. Negative self-talk will get us nowhere.

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White Privilege

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Poster of White Privilege

 

By Beatrice Santiago

Privilege… It exists.

What is it?

Where does it come from?

When I think about defining “White Privilege,” I think about how it has affected me in my life. So many moments that I can’t seem to name a specific one. When searching for “white privilege” definitions, it was hard to find some examples. Here is what I found:

Cambridge English Dictionary:

“White Privilege: the fact of people with white skin having advantages in society that other people do not have. The concept of white privilege explains why white people have greater access to society’s legal and political institutions.”

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E.M.P.O.W.E.R.

Empowered Women Empower Women
A Photo of “Empowered Women Empower Women”

 

By Sierra Rothermich
A son and his father are in a horrible car accident. The father dies on impact and the son is rushed to the hospital with severe injuries. The surgeon looks at the son when he arrives at the hospital and says “I can’t operate on him, he’s my son.”

Can you explain this? 

 

Continue reading “E.M.P.O.W.E.R.”

What I Would’ve Told Myself When I was 17

Graduate
A graduate listens during the commencement at Yale Law School on May 23, 2011.

By Delaney Hopen

I graduated from high school in 2016 at the age of 17, and I was so excited to start fresh in Moscow Idaho. When I first got here, I didn’t realize how much I would be changing in just a short period of time.

When you look forward at what you believe and hope is a long life for yourself, 4 years is like “4 pages” in your 80 or so page “life” book. I find it’s easy to feel like these pages could last forever, and when it’s over it feels like they barely happened. But, these 4 years are for you. They aren’t for your parents, your boss, your future or present husband, wife, or kids. Entering at 17 means I will be exiting at 21, and I can only imagine who I will be, by then.

There are things I wish I had known when I arrived at this stage of my life, but there are some things one cannot explain. I wanted to write this post to initially help the future young women attending U of I, or any other university, because although there are lessons that must be learned, some can at least come with a warning.

Continue reading “What I Would’ve Told Myself When I was 17”

The Taboos of Tattoos

A Victorian woman with tattoos from neck to toe
Circus woman La Belle Irene

By Chloe Rigg 

Tattoos.

Whether you think they’re trashy or artwork, they’ve been a part of society practically since the beginning. Historically, women aren’t shown as having tattoos, but they have become less taboo since the late 19th century. In 1882, the first American tattooed women, Nora Hildebrandt started an exhibit displaying her neck to toe tattoos with a reported 365 different tattoo designs. Thankfully, today’s tattooing practices aren’t quite as painful as a single needle (not attached to a machine) being driven under the skin a single pin prick at a time.

Today, tattoos aren’t exclusively for sailors or gutsy women.

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