The Barbie Effect: Longing To Be Perfect

barbie

The iconic Barbie doll will turn 54 on March 9th.  Before Disney became the merchandising machine that it is today, there was Barbie.  And she was perfect.  She had an amazing body, sun-kissed blonde hair, a dream house, a pink Corvette, an amazing career, and an outfit for every occasion.  And if that wasn’t enough, she had Ken, the perfect man to share it with.

Barbie had it all.  Maybe we could too.  We get older and put our Barbie’s away but the fantasy continues.  We seek perfection.  In magazines.  On television.  In ourselves.  We spend years chasing the dream of the perfect life.  We spend so much time chasing that dream, we forget to create our own.  An attainable dream that is built on reality.  No matter what we have, we want more.  We want to be famous, prettier, thinner, richer, more successful.  A bigger house, a fancier car, designer clothes—and a rich, handsome husband to foot the bill.

The journey to perfection is a painful one.  We eat too much.  We starve ourselves.  We compromise our bodies and our principles.  We self-mutilate and self-medicate.  We over extend ourselves and our credit.  We self-destruct.    Trying to be what we are not.

We forget to look at our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, teachers, and so many other women in our community that represent what is real in this life.   Women who show us everyday what it takes to work hard, raise a family and make a life in this world.  Resilient women who deal with life’s triumphs, heartbreaks, and disappointments.  Women who are stronger and wiser than we ever imagined.

WE are the women who should be celebrated.  Our lives are not always pretty, but we are REAL.  The red carpet we walk is the one that we spilled red wine on.  The gown that we wear is probably flannel.   We choose men based on how they complement us, not because they complete us.

The truth is that perfection is unattainable.  So, put down the magazine, turn off the television,  and live in your own reality.  Not the one that you allowed society to create for you.  The one that appreciates you for who you are and accepts you as you are.  A reality show with you as the leading lady.

Follow me on twitter @simonesayswhat

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Comments
10 Responses to “The Barbie Effect: Longing To Be Perfect”
  1. dancinmoma says:

    Wonderful words about the “Barbie Perfection” I grew up with. Spent way too much time looking for “my Ken” when he was right in front of me the whole time. I actually still have one Barbie. Her hair is frizzy now, her clothes don’t match and she traded in her “corvette” for a “minivan.” 😉 She rocks! 🙂

  2. Simone, I’m sending you a link via twitter to a [insert adjective here] story about the pursuit of Barbie; I’d write about it, but I’m grossed out. Good post.

    • Thanks! I’m inserting the link here as well for those that may not be following me on twitter. She looks so fake if she stood still she would be mistaken for a mannequin. The living doll: ow.ly/ip7YT

      • I don’t understand some people. I just added “some” to that sentence, because sometimes, Simone, I feel very different… I just want to be happy and healthy and have a positive outlook on life and do my best and that’s hard enough sometimes. I can’t get into the mindset of someone who thinks a plastic doll is what we are supposed to look like and be when the doll was modeled after us… The whole thing leaves me speechless. (‘Cept for now, obviously.) 🙂

  3. Cindy says:

    Reality No one is perfect. I believe that there is someone out there for everyone. I watch those RHWO..whatever shows and they crack me up. I love my life as it is. Sure I would love a bigger house a newer car. but I got a great family that loves each other and my health! I would never want to be a Barbie that’s way to much work!
    CHEERS to a great post!
    XOXO,
    Cindy

  4. Traci says:

    Great post. I find it maddening that so few women can find the beauty within themselves. A fellow teacher once told me that breast implants were the number one graduation gift at her school. What a troubling commentary on our culture that we persuade our teenage girls that they have to go under a scalpel to attain some predetermined standard of beauty.

  5. Crystal Tai says:

    Thanks for your insight. I summarize women’s body image issues as the Barbie Complex. Here’s how to resolve the complex: http://2flatteryourfigure.blogspot.com/

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