“Beauty. At the mention of this word, most girls are inclined to take a quick look into a compact mirror or run a few fingers through their hair, sizing themselves up with the nearest advertisement featuring a flawless bottle blonde” (Katie Atkinson). Women are willing to spend hours in the bathroom to be prepared for the day to look like a model when only traveling to the corner store is a real fascination. Most would not even walk out of the house without makeup on in fear they will be judged by their appearance.
The short story, Barbie Q written by Sandra Cisneros, also shows the concept of girls trying to be “perfect. ” It shows two girls trying to dress up their dolls to look high class. They spend so much money on clothing, shoes, and accessories, even though they come from a low income family, just to make their dolls look their best. The girls show the true meaning of someone being materialistic. When society focuses on the image of the next Barbie, women aren’t realizing how that’s changing themselves physically and emotionally just to live up to that expectation.
Makeup is always the option women use to make corrections on their outer body. The purchasing of makeup is like a package deal where if foundation is bought, the individual has to get concealer, a setting powder, brush, and more. Also, these beauty products are not cheap. As stated from fashion magazine, InStyle, “the average woman drops a cool $15,000 total during her lifetime on products, with $3,700 of that going toward mascara alone!
Eye shadows and lipsticks were also popular picks, with a reports $2,750 spent on shadow and $1,780 on lipstick in a lifetime” (Marianne Mychaskiw). This reveals how women have to spend insane amounts of money to look like a movie star on television or a model on a magazine. Commercials always show the ideal woman a man wants on television, so in order for that to happen, women would pay for a fluid ounce container of foundation that cost ten dollars or more from a leading brand.
It’s absurd for a woman to pay for something so expensive and something unnecessary just to impress a man and be accepted in society. Fifteen thousand dollars can get an individual a college education, a car, pay housing fees, almost anything; instead people decides to spend the money on materialistic things they think will make them look “perfect. ” In the beginning of the short story, Barbie-Q, the two girls dress up and compare their dolls from one another to see whose doll looks better and which one has more clothing and accessories.
One of the girls said to her sisters that her doll “is the one with mean eyes and a ponytail. Striped swimsuit, stilettos, sunglasses, and gold hoop earrings. Mine is the one with bubble hair. Red swimsuit, stilettos, pearl earrings, and a wire stand” (Cisneros par. 1) This shows how the girls compete with what they have and who has more and that’s an example of what everyone in society does; they compare an ugly person with the most beautifulest person in the world, and that would bring the ugly person’s self-esteem down.
When an individual’s self-confidence is lowered, they try to bring it back up by changing their inner and outer beauty, and the idea of being insecure leads to people following trends. In addition to the story, in Barbie Q, the girls bought dolls that were super cheap because a big toy warehouse was burnt to the ground. The girls got more dolls; however, the dolls smelled like smoke and had some burns on them, but they didn’t care since they could just hide them.
“Barbie’s MOD’ern cousin Francie with real eyelashes.. as a left foot that’s melted a little.. If you dress her in her new ‘Prom Pinks’ outfit.. long as you don’t lift her dress.. who’s to know. ” (Cisneros par. 6) This conveys the idea of how woman tries to hide their imperfections. Because of one default on their body, they have to cover it up or put layers of makeup on it to look “beautiful” again. They see models with no hideous marks on their body, makeup looking perfect, and they’re dressed very elegantly, so girls would try to copy that in order to be a “model. ”
Overall, society blinds people from their own beauty and replaced by society’s definition of the perfect woman. Women focuses on trying to be more beautiful to be accepted in the community; however, they don’t take the time to see how beautiful they already are. People have done surgeries, application of makeup that takes hours, and buying expensive, elegant clothing, when that time and thousands of dollars can be spent toward something more useful. Dressing up and buying something pleasant for themselves is delightful, but there’s a difference between that and changing themselves.