Drowning Barbie

January 10, 2011

I love dark humor. Especially, if it involves putting a sick twist on a cultural icon. So when I saw this video on Ms. Magazine’s blog, I immediately loved the idea of drowning Barbie. But then I read all the comments being made under the posting, and it killed it for me. (no pun intended)

The comments were filled with people who take themselves waaay too seriously, including the artist. People who were concerned that this art might encourage violence against women. People who suggested that Barbie was a symbol of how a male-dominated society is imposing their ideals on women. I read these comments, and all I could think is- What happened to these women? What made them feel oppressed?

It’s just a doll, people. To blame Barbie for an entire generation’s low self-esteem is absurd. Have we become so privileged, that we are desperately looking for things to whine about? If you have a pool in your backyard, then you are way too privileged to complain about how the Patriarchy is oppressing you. If you have a college education, then you have what many people in the world do not have access to. So what are you bitching about?

If you don’t feel good about your body, that’s because you have low self-esteem. It is YOUR responsibility to make yourself feel good about your body. Not the Patriarchy. Not some toy manufacturer. YOU. I grew up reading comic books that were filled with impossible images of muscle-bound super heroes. Did it make me feel inadequate? Probably. So I hit the gym and now I have a body that I’m happy with. Is that so terrible?

The world is full of images that don’t represent the masses. Look at Michelangelo’s David. How many guys do you know who fit that ideal? Not many. Should they crawl up into a fetal position and cry foul? What’s wrong with having ideals? Even if they are out of reach for most. Look at how many guys wanna be like Mike or Tiger. Is that a sign of oppression? Or are they just someone to look up to?

If you hate Barbie that much, then create your own doll. Make it in your own image. If you’re upset because Time magazine hasn’t put Nancy Pelosi on its cover, then start your own magazine. Oprah did it. She can put whoever she wants on the cover. In my mind, she is a true feminist. As one of the world’s wealthiest women and most powerful people, she is another impossible ideal. But that’s why people look up to her. Shoot for the stars and you’ll hit the moon. Or something like that.

Isn’t it time for men and women to take control of their own self-worth? And stop concocting conspiracy theories on how the world is out to get them. Feminism should be about empowerment. But what Ms. Magazine is doing (again and again) is keeping women in a state of blame. That’s self-victimization, not empowerment. It’s time for feminists to re-examine themselves. I think they have lost their way.

2 Responses to “Drowning Barbie”

  1. Jake said

    Hi .. Love your way of thinking. I hope someday all mankind can care and be loving and sympathetic towards each other.. We all have a level to accept who we are but sometimes we let our guard down it could be real as we perceive it or its just a reminder that we are just as bad as the next relationship… I think it’s better to forgive those that hurt you then to try and reconcile something that is not true.. We all hurt one way or another.. We are all human.. Love and be loved.. We all deserve it.. Peace

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