Adults are to blame for ongoing stereotypes , not Barbie

Jillian LeBlanc, Opinion Editor

Adults ruin simple joys of childhood by pushing kids to view the world as harsh and cynical. We force our opinions, both good and bad, on minds that are too young to distinguish what is right and wrong. Despite good intentions, children are raised in a society that crushes imagination as well as confidence. Society destroys innocent perspectives due to negativity, while constant criticism creates a jaded youth.

Kids are filled with wild, crazy, creative ideas, and these concepts are occasionally hard for adults to grasp. Their imagination holds no bounds, especially if they’re given proper toys. If you give a child a plain cardboard box and ask about its potential, they’ll give you a list of possibilities. Give a child a doll, and they’ll not only create a friend, unknowingly attempt to discover themselves with this tool.

Adults often limit self-discovery due to disdain for certain products. Creative thinking is then halted, because a little boy or girl was denied access to their full imagination. Companies such as Mattel are constantly in the pursuit of this fulfillment by attempting to unlock our youth’s fullest potential.

This prominent toy company took their key product and officially brought her to the 21st century. Mattel made a critical move in 2016, giving Barbie a much-needed makeover, a change that challenged the female stereotype. Mattel openly recognized that women are constantly misrepresented in media, and sought to fight this inequality at the foundation of our future.

Barbie now has seven different skin tones, 22 different eye colors, and 24 different hairstyles. Along with the new cosmetic traits, the doll now comes in three new body types: petite, curvy, and tall. Now girls can choose toys that resemble their female role models, dolls that represent true women.

This is an incredible step forward for women because the media often rejects true womanly figures, portraying tall, skinny models on nearly every outlet. This world isn’t full of clones, but the media makes it appear so. Every woman has a different body shape, along with different features, a variety that Barbie is attempting to recreate. It’s fantastic that Mattel is recognizing this, generating body types that represent true women, deviating from this nauseating stereotype.

Adults ruin Barbie by making her into a villain, but she doesn’t have to be. She’s merely a tool for a child’s imagination, but we associate her with unrealistic characteristics. Children don’t see Barbie the way we do, or not until we change their perspective. They don’t think she’s too skinny, or wears heavy makeup; instead they see her pretty hair, her skin color, her curves, or lack thereof, and her fun accessories. They see dolls that look like them, or their mom, or teacher, or female role model, and strive for greatness along with their sidekick.

The children of today will be adults of tomorrow, and the struggles of our society will be the downfall of theirs. If adults change their attitude and alter their actions, today’s youth could prosper in a society without stereotypes.

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