Tag Archives: beauty

Why be a Barbie Girl?… Story by Catherine Jay

What is beauty? Many people think of women when they hear the word beauty. Do they think of the things that actually can ‘create’ these beautiful women? Do injections and surgery come to mind? People don’t always realize that some women manipulate their bodies in order to fit what is classified as ‘beautiful’. Feeling that they aren’t really beautiful, women get rid of their natural beauty and instead replace it with artificial. Much like a Barbie doll, they forget what it means to be different, to be themselves.

Starting back in the 1900s through the 1910s, the standards for beauty was ‘the Gibson Girls’. Rarely was a beauty standard so

explicit and defined, yet Charles Dana Gibson based the iconic illustrations on “thousands of American girls.” The ideal of femininity was slender and tall with a “voluptuous” bust and wide hips. Using corsets the pinch and take in the waist, the woman was dressed in up to date fashion and physically was attractive and healthy. Using corsets allowed the woman to have the illusion of a small waist and larger bust. Corsets were a painful thing that women had to deal with through the Victorian Era, resulting in bruised and broken ribs. The tighter the corset, the more defined the woman was and the more she would be noticed for her smaller frame. (http://www.rehabs.com).

            As time passed the new style became very far from the Gibson Girls. The ‘Roaring Twenties’ (the 1920s) was the time of the flappers. The flapper represented the idea of women that was far more casual than the corseted Gibson Girls. Their appearance was considered boyish youth, with minimal breasts, a straight figure without any corseting, and shorter hair. This was a style that was worn by the rebellious women who rejected the corseted fashion. This wasn’t painful and didn’t show false appearances. Instead it showed a woman for who she was, without the help of a painful corset tightened around her torso. Going into the fashion of the Great Depression, women went back to the traditional style in women’s fashion and body image. Though short hair remained commonplace, skirts once again became longer, and clothing that showed off a natural waist was in style. The style was far more about practicality than beauty. (http://www.rehabs.com).

After the Great Depression, the beauty standards of women changed to stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy, and Pamela Anderson. In the time of Marilyn, it was still a goal for women to have an hourglass body rather than that of a flapper. Bigger busts and waists were the ideal. As time passed the standards became skinnier and skinnier. The style became something that was hard to achieve. A thin body with large bust was almost impossible to reach without manipulating their bodies. Women resorted to starving themselves in order to get their “ideal” bodies. Now this isn’t just women.

In our generation, girls as young as six years old worry about their bodies. Women will get plastic surgery in order to make themselves more “beautiful”. Injections, removals, getting a new face, it’s all fake. The natural beauty of women has decreased. Being yourself isn’t what the standards are. Instead it’s that of a Barbie doll. Perfect in every way. Without flaws, without your true beauty. The low self-esteem in women today doesn’t necessarily go away after they get their ideal appearance. Inside women are still finding flaws in themselves.

Will women learn to become their own ideal? Will they find a way to love themselves, including all of their flaws? Are meeting the standards of beauty that important? Why be like everyone else? If we all were supposed to look the same, we would be born that way. Becoming a Barbie doll isn’t what women should strive for. Be yourself, show your own beauty rather than trying to be like everyone else. Can women achieve this? Will the future of women disregard any stereotypes or standards of beauty?


If you want more information on 100 years of beauty standards in the US, please follow the link below. http://www.rehabs.com/explore/womens-body-image-and-bmi/