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In the essay "Our Barbies, Ourselves," Emily Prager explores the history of the Barbie doll and talks about the Barbie doll itself. Prager seems convinced that the Barbie doll was an object created by a man and that Barbie reeks of sexuality, sexual innuendo and serves as the anti-feminist embodiment of every man's fantasy. In her own expressive and persuasive modes to fashion an essay designed to persuade the reader that the Barbie doll is a twisted and corrupt tool designed by men to combat the feminist revolution. Though her attempts at persuasion are commendable, I was not swayed in my opinions on Barbie. If anything, I just found fault with this writer's point of view, and I found her accusations to be outrageous and her "facts" to be completely wrong. Prager uses both expressive and persuasive modes in her essay. Her own flavors to this essay express her own frustrations with the "men" that created Barbie dolls. In truth, Barbie was not created by Jack Ryan. Barbie was created by Ruth Handler.
Handler sensed that it was just as important for girls to imagine what they themselves might grow up to become as adult women. In paragraph 2, Prager suggest in her essay that Barbie was fashioned after a man's dream date with her tiny waist, large bust and feet made for stiletto heels. In paragraph 6, Prager changes tones and suggests that perhaps Barbie was also an icon that could be embraced by feminists. Barbie is her own person, liberated woman and girl on the move. Prom queen, Business woman, Presidential candidate or Airline pilot, Barbie has always remained dedicated to her own career and her fashionable clothes. It is entirely possible that Barbie is the best of both worlds. Sexy yet smart. Balancing the 03extreme worlds of male fantasy and feminine idealism.
Paragraph 7 talks about Prager's feelings towards Barbie's boyfriend, Ken. Prager feels that if Barbie was too sexual, then Ken was the opposite with little or no sexuality at all. His appearance was plain, a vast difference from the sculpted curves and slopes of Barbie's body. Prager suggests that this is because of Ken's concealed sexuality and Barbie's exposed sexuality. His plastic painted on jockey briefs were a far cry from Barbie's larger than life bra-free breasts. Prager continues with her conclusion that Barbie must somehow be sexually frustrated, because of Ken's lack of sexuality, and no matter how sexy she is, or what she does, she will never be able to turn Ken on. It is my opinion that Prager has failed in her attempts to persuade the reader that Barbie is a tool created from male fantasy or a poster child for modern feminism.
If anything this essay has helped me to realize that Barbie is a combination of both worlds. She is both sexually appealing to men and someone that women can admire and even a toy that little girls can play with and hope to be like when they are older. I still remain adamantly devoted to my Barbie dolls, seeing her as neither temptress or sexually frustrated object. Instead, I see her as the best friend that still lingers in my childhood memories as the bright pink plastic box waiting for me under the Christmas tree..
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