4 Pages

Women's and Gender Studies
Course Code
Jin Park

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2012-10-10 IEEC31/WSTC21H3 F Lecture 5 Presentation • Anthropometry of Barbie in popular culture and the understanding of AIDS in popular culture, media and science • Anthropometry= comparative study of the sizes and proportions of the human body o Exploring Barbie’s body and her longevity in society as well as reconstruction of her body throughout societal changes o Designed in 1959; inspiration of Cold War social construction of gender and method of social embodiment of containment (sexual; gender norms and roles) o Designer for Barbie (Jack Ryan) was a military/armament scientist who became a toymaker w/the advent of Barbie o Reflection of the body was influential in consumer discourse of the time and thought to have been sought out o Multicultural models as well introduced as “friends” of Barbie and also Shani but were not “popular”  All of the ethnic friends have the same body measurements of Barbie; can be contrasted w/Sterling’s article in the study of Bartman’s body done by Cuvier and de Blainville o Consumerist and capitalist society, Barbie is an emblem of mass consumption rather than production o Ideal bodies= eugenics movement  Also demon mothers and the contraceptives on women’s bodies; neo-colonial era [patriarchal view] of body image • Plastic surgery readily available to women to create the “perfect” Barbie image o Also part of the capitalist and consumerist society and its construction on women’s bodies o Both Karen Carpenter and Barbie were/are considered “pure”; while Carpenter succumbed and died due to anorexia, Barbie has been immortalized and ageless • Construction of AIDS through language and popular culture o In particular to biomedicine and science o The female body was not examined as a medium for contracting AIDS which perpetuated the myth that heterosexuals and lesbians could not contract AIDS o AIDS considered “a gay plague that was considered God’s punishment” on people who were considered abnormal beings  AIDS= venereal disease that affects admirable people (did not help) o The importance for changing the language and understanding that behaviours and not specific groups of people contribute to the spread and contraction of AIDS (anyone can get the virus)  Breakdown of language is needed to understand the trajectory of the disease and also how to deal with it  Important to reduce marginalization and social isolation of groups of people in a society  Society and culture to bring in a commonality to the understanding of AIDS o Female victims of AIDS were not looked into because it was considered a homosexual man disease and that the female genitalia is not suited to contract AIDS but it took a celebrity’s admission that he has AIDS for the society to understand that anyone could get the disease o Dichotomies of being socially accepted and antisocial in the social construction of women’s bodies o Scientists use scientific method and language
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