The Barbie Controversy

Issue Proposal

Issue proposals help you organize and develop your thoughts for longer argument papers. Select an issue from the reader, or one that really interests you. Once you have selected an issue, test it with the twelve tests, do some background reading as necessary, and write a proposal that responds to the following four items:

1. Introduce the issue, and then present it in question form.

2. Explain why it is compelling to you.

3. Describe what you already know about it.

4. Explain what more you need to learn.

Use the following essay as a guide.

The Barbie Controversy

Introduce the issue.

It is interesting that a small, blond, blue-eyed, plastic doll could cause an uproar. Barbie has succeeded (intentionally or not) in inciting heated opinion on whether she is fit to be the image of the perfect woman for millions of impressionable young girls. Some people have stated that Barbie’s proportions are humanly impossible, with her exaggerated bustline and minuscule waist. They claim that these impossible proportions could lead girls to develop a poor body image. Barbie doll defenders state that Barbie is a part of most girls’ lives while they are growing up. Is Barbie bad? Does she have the power to affect girls psychologically all over the country or perhaps the world?

Present it in question form.

Explain why it is ­compelling to you.

I am interested in the Barbie controversy because, like many girls growing up in America, I was obsessed with Barbie when I was a child. Now, as a college student, I am very interested in female icons and their role in self-image development. I also have to fight the voices in my head telling me that I am too short and too fat, and I am not sure exactly where these voices have come from.

Describe what you already know about it.

I know that the Barbie doll product is pervasive in American society. I have never met a woman or girl who has not played with at least one Barbie. Barbie’s image has appeared in McDonald’s Happy Meals, in computer programs, on her own clothing line, on school supplies, and in every major American store with a toy section.

Explain what more you need to learn.

I need to do more research on the validity of the claim that Barbie affects girls’ self-images either detrimentally or positively. I would like to explore the pervasiveness of Barbie internationally and compare the domestic sales figures to the international sales figures. If Barbie proves to be a detriment to girls’ self-images, I would like to seek out some proposed solutions and discuss their feasibility.

Your proposal should be at least four paragraphs long and about 250-300 words.

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