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A Popular Culture- Barbie

Society and Culture HSC

Jacinta Farrugia

on 3 June 2013

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Transcript of A Popular Culture- Barbie

A Consumer Product? Barbie has been one of the best selling toys for over 50 years. Barbie is a global brand which relies heavily on commercial products. Throughout the decades the Barbie product has grown and diversified and therefore became more complex. Like all global brands in the beginning stages, Barbie was only associated with one commercial product of a simple paper/plastic doll aimed at the target market of 3-7 year girls. This product was a great success and therefore the Barbie brand spread wider to other commercial products such as additional toys, DVDS, music, clothing etc. How does Barbie assess the four characteristics of a popular culture? Dolls Bedding Clothing etc. Moved from Local -->National -->Global? How has the product evolved? Throughout the years the Barbie product has undergone alot of changes to appeal to their target market. The Barbie brand has managed to keep up with social interests such as current trends in clothing, hairstyles and makeup etc, which enables their audience to stay interested. Throughout the last 50 years Barbie has released many products which reflect our history and the changes in our society. 'Home maker' doll
1963 Women in the workforce collection Wide spread Access? Access is vitally important in understanding the nature of the Barbie brand, as without this wide spread access Barbie would not be a popular culture. In 1959 when the Barbie brand began access was limited and therefore could only be accessed in certain toy stores. However as time progressed and the Barbie brand become more popular, increased access was needed to fulfill the growing demand. Barbie can be accessed in a variety of ways:
toy stores
Dvds etc. Did you know- The biggest toyshop in the world is 'Toys r us' located in Times Square, New York City. This seven-story store has one entire level dedicated to the Barbie brand. Consisting of a human-size Barbie doll house, the biggest collection of Barbie fashions dolls and any type of merchandise young girls could dream of including Barbie makeup and wigs. What is Barbie? Originally Barbie was the name given to a fashion doll manufactured by the American Toy Company Mattel. Throughout the last 50 years the Barbie brand has spread past these plastic dolls and is now one of the most popular toys of all time. Local Local National Global For Example- In the early 1960's where women did not have the same rights as men. A Barbie doll was released where the woman was dressed in the attire of what would be expected in that period- 'A homemaker' .Throughout the years where gender equality began to become more balanced. Barbie released a new range of dolls dressed in uniforms for different occupations reflecting the changing women's rights and encouraging women in the workforce Who Controls it?
How has this changed over time? Had several 'controllers' over time? Had International Success over time? How had Barbie had International success over time? How has Barbie been consumed and continued to be consumed today? How has Barbie Appealed to different individuals and groups, at different times? However there is always some individuals and groups that choose to reject the Barbie culture? Groups which chose to reject? The local aspect of Barbie was occurring in the 1950's decade. Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel Toys, had watched her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls of grown up women. Handler noticed that there was a major gap in the market as at that time only dolls aimed at toddlers were available. Handler did alot of research and despite initial skepticism from her husband, Ruth pursed her vision and began making sketches and plans. Barbie started out as a minor toy in the Mattel catalogue in Hawthorne California One of the main groups which reject the Barbie culture are the feminist in our society. These feminist argue that Barbie promotes an unrealistic idea of body image for young women. and also creates an unrealistic role model. A standard Barbie doll is 11.5 inches tall, with long legs and a small waist. When transferring these measurements into human ratios, this doll would be extremely underweight or anorexic thus representing a unrealistic role model for young girls. '
Barbie is also portrayed a ditsy blonde bombshell whos life revolves around her beautiful yet plastic appearance.

In July 1992, Mattel released Teen Talk Barbie, which spoke a number of phrases including "Will we ever have enough clothes?", "I love shopping!", and "Wanna have a pizza party?" Each doll was programmed to say four out of 270 possible phrases, so that no two dolls were likely to be the same. One of these 270 phrases was "Math class is tough!" (often misquoted as "Math is hard"). Although only about 1.5% of all the dolls sold said the phrase, it led to criticism from the American Association of University Women. In October 1992 Mattel announced that Teen Talk Barbie would no longer say the phrase, and offered a swap to anyone who owned a doll that did.[24] Barbie's first national debut took place at the New York Toy Fair in 1959. Barbie was only a minor product at the time. The Mattel Toy Company was shocked that they were met with rave reviews from toy critics who 'had never seen anything like it'. As of this great success large scale production began. The first Barbie doll- 1959 The first Barbie doll- 1959. After the sucess in New York, The Barbie product became a major in Mattels catologue and therefore began trade to neighbouring countries. Popularity and desire for the product grew allowed the product to expand greater. In Barbie's first year 350 000 dolls were sold and produced around the world.
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