Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Karen E. Dill-Shackleford

Barbie evokes suffering in girls, scorn in teens and finally gets reshaped

Scholars have long documented the significance in young people’s lives of popular culture ideals. These ideals can come in many forms including fashion models, singers and actresses, video game characters and toys. In the case of dolls, research has revealed that girls form a relationship with favorite dolls in which they develop ideal selves in line with the characteristics of the doll. The dolls are a socializing agent, bringing in the ideals of the larger society to the girl’s private life.

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