her nearly unttainable proportions, Barbie probably has never
struggled with the body image issues facing today's woman.
The archaic beauty standard Barbie represents has inspired
28 women writers to examine the influence of body image over
identity in Adios, Barbie: Young Women Write About Body Image
and Identity (Seal Press, 1998). In their essays, the writers,
who vary in race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, offer
a fresh and diverse perspective on the female body, in chapters
as "My Jewish Nose" and "The Skinny on Small."
In "Becoming La Mujer," Marisa Navarro writes, "After
twenty-one years of confusion, I realized I could be happy
only when I defined my own idea of beauty and sensuality."
Ironically, the book's message is similar to the slogan featured
in recent advertisements foro Barbie: "Become your own
hero." (Stephanie Bleyer)