The Barbie Syndrome: Childhood Doll or Media Weapon?
By Shauna Maria Blake

When I was younger, I was in love with barbie dolls. Just like every girl who grew up in the 90s, I had almost everything that was associated with barbies. From the Barbie Corvette to the dream house, to the mega airplane. Having a barbie doll was like the coolest thing. Girls always wanted to have a life like Barbie; with her perfect figure, perfect boyfriend, basically her perfect life. But as life goes on and trends come and go, the trend of Barbie DOLLS have faded away. But it seems as if the trend is coming back, but in a very different form. 

Nowadays, girls feel like in order to fit in, they have to have the perfect image; something resembling a barbie doll. Many say that this is just all mentally, but is it really all mentally? Or does the media have a role in this?

Hip Hop rapper Nicki Minaj is famously know for bringing back the term “Barbie,” referring to her female fans, and “ken dolls,” referring to her male fans. Of course Nicki does call herself the “Head Barbie,” physically emulating a barbie doll with her perfect figure, which consists of a small waist, a big chest, and wide hips. 

Of course, if you look at Nicki Minaj circa 2007, you will see that she never had this barbie figure. But as it is seen, the media has a certain look that you need to achieve in order to make it. As long as you look good, your talent really doesn't matter. But has the media taken it TOO far when it comes to this image?

These days, girls are going under the knife in order to reach this perfect figure. From breast implants to butt injections, some girls are even going as far as reconstructing their entire face in order to have the glossy, perfectly chiseled face that Barbie has. 

This trend has made some people famous, but these people are only famous because of how they look. To me, I only think these people become famous because they look ridiculous and people just make fun of them. But I guess to them, all the free publicity that these people get is all worth the surgeries and countless amounts of money that they spend.

Take 28 year old Valeria Lukyanova for example. She's known as the “Living Barbie Doll.” She underwent many surgeries to get her 18 inch waist, and 38DD chest.  She even had to take a couple of ribs out in order to achieve her perfect figure. 

To me, I think it's horrible. It is not worth taking out bones just to get a perfect figure that would look good in the media's eyes. There is a certain limit that is being reached when it comes to these types of surgeries. Spending thousands of dollars for what? To look good and look perfect in the eyes of society? But in their minds, its all worth it and they don't see it as a problem. 

But just like girls, boys also go through these type of things. Wanting to be the guy that every girl would want. Of course what is Barbie without her Ken. Justin Jedlica is known as the “Human Ken Doll,” pumping his body with so much silicone, that he resembles Barbie's plastic companion. In order to achieve this look, it would take a countless amount of surgeries and endless amounts of money. So either these people come from very wealthy homes, or they have over a million jobs to reach their goal. 

Honestly, being that in order to get muscles like a Ken doll, you have to get implants in your biceps and triceps, as well as pectoral implants. But instead of spending all this money, wouldn't it be simpler to just work out and change up your lifestyle. Maybe then, in time you would actually get a body like Ken, but get it the safe way. 

Personally,  I think this whole 'Barbie' trend is sickening. And part of it can definitely be blamed on the media. Portraying these images of girls having to look a certain way just so people could accept them, and boys having to have a body like Superman in order for girls to like them. But what good comes out of this? I think if this is how the media wants to portray what the 'perfect girl/boy' looks like, then they have something mentally wrong with them. 

There's nothing wrong with the way you may look. If you have flaws, embrace them, or change them the safe way. Never should a person, whether boy or girl, go and get surgery just to make the eye of the media happy. Barbie dolls are meant to be played with. They aren't supposed to be a weapon to bring down people's self esteem. People who use barbies as a weapon to bring girls down into thinking that they aren't perfect, are either insecure themselves, or they have a lot of issues they just need to work out.