Coup de Grace: Barbie serves as a role model

News Editor Grace Mottley attempts to end deteriorating institutions and ideas of our society through a Coup de Grâce, a “decisive blow or finishing act,” as she questions the culture we live in. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, so what better way to change society than writing about it.


Barbie’s appearance has always overshadowed her message, but that is about to change.

Mattel, the company that owns Barbie, has come out with new plus-sized, tall, and petite versions of the Barbie doll in order to end the debate on Barbie’s effect on girls’ body images, according to TIME Magazine. Barbie now comes in an array of races and sizes, but that won’t change the self-esteem issue plaguing girls.

Barbie’s original proportions are unrealistic, but they were created so little girls could easily take Barbie’s clothes on and off. She was never meant to be considered “the perfect figure.”

Barbie was never meant to be a body image standard by which women and girls judge themselves. Blaming young girls’ negative body images on a piece of plastic is ridiculous.

It’s true that the majority of girls have body image issues. By middle school, 40 to 70 percent of girls are dissatisfied with their bodies, according to the New York City Mayor’s Office. However, these body images stem more from a culture where you either have to look like Nicole Richie or Kim Kardashian to be seen as attractive, and anything in-between is not acceptable.

We are constantly bombarded with advertisements for weight loss programs, zero calorie drinks, and makeup that promises to make women look perfect. There is constant reinforcement of the idea that you need to be thin to be acceptable. Our society values thin women above all, and the stick figure models plastered all over our televisions only emphasizes this idea.

Barbie is a role model for girls, and she gives them confidence to be whoever they want to be. She is a princess who saves her prince. She’s a doctor, a veterinarian, a teacher, and much more. In her books and movies, she teaches girls even more life lessons. Every Barbie movie has a moral, and she illustrates the importance of kindness, forgiveness, and being grateful for what you have.

Focusing solely on Barbie’s body defeats the purpose of Barbie. If we pay more attention to Barbie’s looks than the things she teaches, then we’re telling girls that how they look is more important than their character.

Barbie is the only doll that shows girls they can follow any dream they have. It’s time for us to focus on the lessons Barbie teaches girls, and not her body.

Grace Mottley is a News Editor for The Patriot and