Barbie and Ken Commercial

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Annie Auger Sec 4 Media Example Barbie Ads 1. How does Barbie reinforce heterosexual normativity in our society? 2. How do these advertisements form young girls ideas of what it means to be a woman and have the "ideal" life with Ken? What does this do to children who do not want this life? Barbie is a toy designed for little girls. She exemplifies the ideal American life, a beautiful woman with the perfect husband Ken. This teaches young girls that they need to be perfect and that includes being married to a perfect guy. Barbie reinforces the stereotype that females need to be feminine, have long hair, wear makeup and dresses. This can have a negative effect on young children who are unsure of their gender or sexuality. These pop culture toys are guiding their ideas of what it means to be a woman with no room for deviant behavior in Barbie's life. Barbie is heterosexual, and has Ken, who is strong, handsome and masculine. This reinforces the idea to young children that men and women should be together, not two men or two woman. This can also have devastating effects on children who are questioning their sexuality, but are bombarded with images of heterosexual love as normal and natural. These children that can't relate to Barbie's perfect life: white, straight, thin, beautiful and wealthy, do not have representation in popular culture and may feel different and less important than those who do resemble Barbie. These images further perpetuate the heterosexual, hegemonic ideas of those in power who aim to further the social hierarchy which places those who can conform to these ideas at the top, and those who deviate in anyway at the bottom.

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