Friday, December 6, 2013


For my final project, I initially wanted to raise awareness that young girls are using social media websites too soon, and this was potentially damaging to their self-esteem during formative years through an elaborate Rookie-Mag style zine to insert into this semester's issue of Cult. Magazine.

The release date for Cult. got delayed, and I was inspired as I went through my old dolls and accessories. My mother gave me a book called Mondo Barbie an anthology of radical Barbie poetry and fictional stories, many of which commentary on Barbie's effect on the youth of yesteryear.
Mondo Barbie

I decided I wanted to know what my peers today thought of Barbie, because I got so sick of hearing how she is so damaging and constantly judged on her body type, when what I learned from this class was not to judge women based on appearance. It was too late for me to change my original idea.So as per Professor Caçoilo's suggestion, I decided to merge my two ideas.

I asked my peers to share their memories with Barbie, and without even explicitly asking how she made them feel, I got their feelings about her right away. The common consensus was that as girls many of us didn't connect to Barbie, but loved her anyway. My only regret is that my responses weren't more diverse, but during the holiday rush, it was very difficult to get the contributions that I did. 

I decided that today's girl isn't playing with dolls, but trading in her toys for technology. Because the access to social media is free, and doesn't really take much to bypass parental wishes, girls are getting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and are self-defining and comparing themselves to the constructed selves of friends and peers. While the children of the 1990s understood Barbie wasn't real, the 2000s children have yet to grasp that everything that they see online isn't true but as plastic as Barbie.

Barbie Collective, hot off the press!

I included this in the forward of my Zine, and printed out hundreds of copies for distribution, to link to the Barbie Collective Facebook page, which was active before the Zine was printed. The page on its own, with its eerily pleasant image of Barbie and her accessories created a buzz on its own. I hope to get more "likes" on the barbie collective page after every copy of the Zine is distributed, and from there be able to spread my message; not to criticize Barbie, as she has become a thing of the past, but be wary of the child's psyche in the online realm I would also like the Facebook page to receive more contributions, funny anecdotes with Barbie to be posted. Nothing like nostalgia on the newsfeed.

Doesn't every girl want a shelf like this?

social media is damaging to self esteem!
how you use facebook determines your level of self esteem

1 comment:

  1. This is heartfelt for me cause I always loved Barbies as much as the average girl. I played with them going into middle school and still gush over how cool they were. One walked on her own and another had a dress that spun and lit up. Then, another one could fly. The ideas the company comes up with goes beyond our imaginations. As pointed out in class, not only do girls recall Barbie memories but so do the boys. Your page is a good opportunity for people to get nostalgic for a bit and think back on their childhoods. However, if they still play with Barbies, then that can't hurt either!