Should Barbie be featured in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue?

Andrea Buenrostro
Period 5
February 21, 2014

Barbie by the Pool, and in Newsstands Near You here

For the Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary they have decided to highlight “legends” in their swimsuit issue. This particular issue is one much awaited by its 3.5 million subscribers for its content, featuring beautiful women showing lots of skin. Models such as Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova, and Tyra Banks are featured in this issue, but the most polemic model of all is a plastic doll named, Barbie.

Why does a doll cause so much polemic?

Well it turns out many civilians believe a plastic doll should not be compared to a real women because women are natural unlike Barbie who has been shaped to perfection. Civilians also believe this little girls toy should not be featured in a sports magazine especially in an issue which is popular for its portrayal of women’s bodies in a very “sexy” manner and primarily read by men as a way of pleasure.

Structural Functional:
1. Mattel labeled Barbie’s spread in the swimsuit edition as #unapologetic. 2. Both Mattel and Sports Illustrated have set out to protect Barbie’s image and explain their reasoning for including Barbie.
3. Some argue if parents are able to teach their daughters Barbie is fake they shouldn’t have to worry about their daughter wanting to be like her.
4. Although society has become more open about sexuality and lust there is still strong barriers and lines which many believe should not be crossed and this includes putting a doll in a swimsuit issue.

Social Conflict:
1. Barbie’s perfectly shaped body causes envy among many woman and may generate a figure that small girls admire and grow up to want to have, however having this perfect body is nearly impossible and girls may go to extremes to obtain the plastic dolls figure. (symbol)
2. Barbie is the original plastic doll and although other brands continue to fabricate dolls similar to her and sell them for cheaper prices, Mattel still sells three Barbies every minute all over the world.(role performance)
3. Whatever Barbie does she is an international doll recognized by everyone who has 55 successful years in the market.

Symbolic Interaction:
1. Every woman does with her body what she pleases so if people judge the Swimsuit issue because of sexualizing women, they may not because women choose to take those pictures and at the end of the day it is a prestige for Barbie to be included. (role expectation and manifest function)
2. Society has to change its values to become more accepting of others, because now in days society consists of conservatives, radicals, and those in between.
3. Fashion is continuously changing and with this change we see the amount of skin young ladies show increase more and more. (latent function)

I believe..

Barbie should be able to be featured anywhere and everywhere because she is simply a piece of plastic in my opinion. If you believe featuring Barbie in a swimsuit edition is wrong because women and girls look up to her I believe you are incorrect. I don’t believe Barbie being featured in a swimsuit magazine is an issue because if you have good parenting skills you will teach your child Barbie is fake and little girls as well as women should not expect their body to be perfect like her crafted body.

Comment Stream