Feminists claim that exaggerated beauty standards are toxic towards women. They point to Barbie as the supreme patriarchal oppression propaganda for little girls, no matter how often Mattel makes empowered versions of her. Doctor Barbie teaches little girls that women can both be sexually attractive and have a high-status career—as opposed to something embarrassing like an electrician or Applebee’s manager. Barbie has it all, even though she can never convince Ken to settle down and give her a baby.
For feminists, what bothers them is that Barbie is beautiful. Feminism is an ugly ideology that overtly seeks to glorify both inner and outer ugliness. They claim that Barbie and other images cause girls to be so obsessed with their appearance that they turn to eating disorders. Furthermore, Barbie’s physical proportions are so unrealistic that she would be dead in real life. To them, Barbie represents a vile standard of beauty.
Barbie Is Not A Standard
This claim of being a standard is a great misunderstanding. Barbie is not so much one to be copied as she is a hero in the classical sense of the word. Barbie is an over-man to little girls. She transcends reality and inspires admiration. Like Theseus for the ancients and Batman for today’s boys, Barbie goes beyond what a normal person can do. Barbie is not a standard; she is an ideal. She inspires aspiration, not imitation. Barbie is the modern Aphrodite.
Nor is this a double standard. Little boys idolize Wolverine and He-man. They play make-believe to be like them. Little boys know they will never be as strong, fast, or accomplished as their heroes, but they play pretend just to have a little taste of that glory. Through these heroes, little boys learn to aspire to be their best. This finds its way into youth sports and education.
Little boys want to be as fast on the soccer field as Achilles or Flash is on the field of war. If public school was actually engaging to the mind, little boys would strive to be as quick-witted on their tests as Odysseus or Spiderman is in battle. Little boys view professional athletes in the same way little girls view models and pop singers.
We all want someone to look up to. We all want to worship a person greater than ourselves. And most importantly, we want that person to have some kind of similarity to us. Many people—particularly in rural areas outside of North America and western Europe—have a heavy adoration given to particular Christian saints. Even Muslims in the near east have a deep reverence for Saint George.
Saints are the exaggerations of what it means to endure resolvedly through difficult times, the ultimate ethic of Christianity (as opposed to the feel-good “love” that is preached today). Reading some of these saint stories, whether eastern, western, recent, or ancient, one soon realizes that many of these people had severe emotional instability that is often confused for holiness.
That is of no consequence, for what their idolizers truly desire is someone to exalt above themselves. They want someone to imitate even if only as little as they are able.
Barbie Should Be Aspired To
If characters like Indiana Jones are the apex of masculinity, then Barbie is the same for femininity. She is beautiful, intelligent, domestic, social, gorgeous, hard-working, wealthy, attractive, outgoing, healthy, confident, pretty, talented, lovely, has great tits and hair, accomplished, alluring, charming, elegant, unblemished, graceful, and committed to only one man. The same is true for most of the 20th century Disney princesses, despite the spike in feminism during both’s heyday of the 1990s.
Little girls want to be like Cinderella because Cinderella is desired both for her beauty and her mind. On every level of her person, Prince Charming wants her. It does not matter to him that she is the equivalent of a beta as a dirt-poor servant girl. Cinderella is beautiful and graceful, and that’s all that matters to Prince Charming.
Cinderella is a pleasant person to be around and has a heart full of kindness. Prince Charming was the first person in Cinderella’s life who ever made her feel like she was wanted. How could she not fall in love with him?
Both sexes are impacted by fascist beauty standards. Men have to grow muscle, which is a journey that is painful, expensive, and filled with misinformation. And if he’s under six feet tall, his chances with women are drastically cut no matter what his other characteristics.
Women on the other hand have to buy an exercise video and keep their hair long. I suppose make-up can be time-consuming, but fashion is not nearly as expensive as women like to claim.
Exaggerated Beauty “Standards” Are Beautiful
I’ve written before that most men don’t actually want a woman who is so skinny that she looks unhealthy. The sunken eyes, the skin that one could swear was translucent, the weird sag in her features, the lifeless hair. Eating disorder girls are not attractive.
It would be both mentally and physically unhealthy for a man to obsess about achieving the impossible body of Beowulf. So if Barbie and Aphrodite inspire women to turn to unhealthy practices (like eating disorders or fad diets) in a way that He-man doesn’t to men, then what does that say about women?
Either it is a lie that strict beauty standards cause women to obsess at the risk of their own health, or it is manifest that women are mentally and emotionally inferior to men. If media is so damaging towards women, and if little girls are unable to want an ugly doll, then is it best to keep them outside of society in general?
Of course that’s not what I’m actually advocating. My point is that exaggerated beauty “standards” are not harmful. Feminists would have you believe that there is a binary choice: A woman can either shove her fingers down her throat or she can be comfortable being overweight.
In reality, this is a spectrum, and the golden medium is called “growing up.” Both anorexia and fat pride are shortcut cheats to beauty. Mature adults achieve what they want through hard work. Nothing says “strong, empowered woman” like diet and exercise to keep a good figure, and that is the kind of self-discipline that men are attracted to.
Also, notice that the picture of Aphrodite at the top has a little bit of a belly. Golden moderation.
Drawn To Escapism
Since leftists assume kids are unable to tell fiction (toys and television) from reality (almost everything they encounter), the feminists have made a new alternative Barbie. You can give her acne, scars, stretch marks, and trash tattoos. Personally I want to see some eczema scars on that tramp. That’ll make her just like my wife, and since Blairina is perfect as is, of course I would want a second one in doll form to replace her with.
Kids don’t like entertainment that is realistic. Children want escapism, exaggeration, and utopia (c.f. every toy or movie made for kids during the 20th century). Kids are attracted to perfection, and the older they get, the more they sense that they won’t get it from the world.
Escapism is the only entertainment that has ever sold. The fantasy and sci-fi genre developed off of European folktales collected by people like the Charles Perrault. The panty-wetting romcom was not invented by Hollywood, because Goethe had women literally killing themselves in the 18th century.
Action flicks and violent video games go back to the Iliad and on through historical fiction and folklore like King Arthur. The lyrics in music are just romanticizations of life emotions, whether a bad country-pop song in 2015 or an anonymous coal miner song from 1875.
Why Beauty Standards Are More Stringent Today
I’ll grant that beauty standards formerly valued women who were slightly more plump. There’s not as much difference as people today claim, but there has still been some change.
It is widely claimed that people used to value overweight and pale women because those traits were signs of wealth. However, I’m skeptical. After all, arts and entertainment were always geared towards the top 1% before the industrial revolution made it inexpensive to produce, meaning that the elite were more easily able to avoid images of poverty. I don’t buy the narrative that society used to value obese women or that most people in all human history were on the brink of starvation.
My guess why beauty standards are a little more demanding today than they were 100 years ago is because today women are ugly. They are overweight, they have bad hair, they lack social grace, and they think hideous products are fashionable by sole virtue of their popularity. Women and little girls know this instinctually and over-correct through their fantasies.
Perhaps little girls love Barbie and Ariel so much because they see how frumpy mommy and their teachers at school are. Females have an innate need to be surrounded by beauty.
If our world today—with its ugly people with ugly faux personalities buying ugly faux merchandise from chain stores and eating ugly faux boxed meals—If our world today is so ugly, then I would wager that this inescapable ugliness is what causes little girls to search ever harder for beauty. We live in a society of plastic and look-alike wood. Perhaps it is not a great mystery that Disney made such a strong recovery in the 1990s when feminism was at its strongest.
Despite their questionable morality, Disney cartoons are truly beautiful for all ages. And when little girls grow too old for princess stories, they turn to romantic movies and novels full of beautiful people with beautiful creative careers working in a bakery or advertising firm. And when they grow tired of that, they turn on the tv and watch beautiful people doing beautiful dances or singing beautiful songs on competition shows. And during the day before those shows come on, they watch shows about how to have beautiful houses or beautiful food.
Women just want to be beautiful and have a beautiful life. Barbie gives them the inspiration to achieve their dreams. Then feminism sweeps along and tells them to remain stagnant.