The New Barbie?

Nicki Minaj is a new, emerging rap artist. She calls herself the new “Barbie.” Some little girls are now calling themselves Barbie because they look up to Nicki. Is this the kind of role model you want your daughter to be idolizing?

I’ve noticed that some girls want to call themselves “Barbie” like Nicki does, but at the same time, they also want to claim that they’re not fake, but real and different from all the other girls. How can you call yourself a “Barbie” but also claim to be “real” and “different” from other girls?

A Barbie is a child’s toy. Barbies are manufactured in factories and are all the same. To me Barbie is fake and plastic. Why would you want to be like a doll, when you can just be you? We need to teach our young girls that they are already beautiful and do not have to be like Barbie with long legs and an hourglass shape. Beautiful women come in all different shapes and sizes.

For generations, Barbie has been the doll that many little girls have wanted to be just like. Barbie’s unrealistic body type – busty with a tiny waist, thin thighs, and long legs – is reflective of our culture’s unrealistic feminine ideal. Girls at an early age get trapped by this narrow definition of beauty and being female.  I really think that Barbie, as a symbol of the perfect female, is the reason some girls become anorexic or bulimic.  They become desperate to obtain Barbie’s (and society’s) unrealistic and unattainable idea of beauty.  

Now we have Nicki Minaj referring to herself as Barbie and perpetuating the idea that ideal beauty is on the outside.  She is just creating more insecurity in our young girls who just want to fit in and be current with all the latest fads. What we need are more positive role models to show girls that beauty is on the inside.

I understand that my opinions about Barbie are not shared by everyone and many people don’t think she’s as harmful for our young girls as I claim her to be.  During the month of March, the Women’s Center is hosting a series of Barbie events. Next Thursday’s event, Blaming Barbie: has a Doll Become our Feminist Scapegoat? with special guest speaker Courtney E. Martin, will address the feminist inclination to demonize Barbie as I have; however, Martin argues for a renaissance of self-examination instead. Then later at the end of the month, join the Women’s Center at the Toy & Miniature Museum on March 23 for Barbie:  Love Her or Leave Her? This will be an open discussion where people can talk about Barbie, how they played with her growing up, and how they feel about her now.  You know how I feel.  How about you?



  1. Posted April 10, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    If girls want to be called “barbies” let them.Its a free country. But why blame it on Nicki Minaj.Nowadays many children have health problems like obesity.They want to look thin just like barbies.Nicki Minaj calls herself “The Barbie Bitch”.And Nicki never said anything about barbies being “plastic” and/or “fake”.Also Nicki didnt say,do or intend to make girls feel insecure about themselves.

    • Posted May 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      i agree being a barbie is not a insercurity thing its a confidence booster. its not about the clothes or fake things people think its about. the meaning of barbies in today’s world is having confidence attitude theres nothing wrong with wanting to feel beautiful i myself am a barbie “universal chinese olivers barbie” lol its a cute thing

  2. Isaly Marie
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Why should be Nicki be blamed for all this? Shes what shes always wanted to be, a barbie. Doesnt everyone want to be perfect, flawless, what everyone sees as a dream girl? All the little girls like barbies and want to be like her, and since Nicki’s a real barbie they want to be like her. I dont see it as a crime for wanting to be like someone. So why make an issue out of it? So what.

  3. Nikeisha Fortenberry
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nicki Minaj is not getting blamed for what she is trying to portray, but she is portraying an image that is not the ‘ideal’ body shape of a woman. I think it is fine that girls like Nicki Minaj and look up to her, but it is important that girls and women learn how to love and appreciate who they are also. Issues begin to occur when girls and women begin thinking that ONLY Nicki Minaj exemplifies “beauty” and not their own beauty.

  4. I
    Posted May 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love Nicki and Barbies.I wanna look like a Barbie,but I deeply love the way I look to me it’s not a big deal ,so yah have u thought of that?God you freakin’ Nicki haterz aqnd yah I’m ten ,and I look after Nicki Minaj mah girl!!!<3

  5. Ashley
    Posted June 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    You make some good points. But, you also have to notice that she is the “new Barbie”. Nicki, as you can tell, does not look like a Barbie. She isn’t Caucasian, her figure does not look like a Barbie dolls, and she does not dress like Barbie. Although, she is beautiful. Maybe that’s why she is the “new Barbie”. You can be beautiful no matter what color your skin is, what size waist you have, or what your own personal style is. In my opinion, she’s showing girls that everyone can be a Barbie. Everyone can be beautiful & have the confidence to think or say that they are.

  6. Posted June 8, 2010 at 7:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    i love the new barie

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