Why Barbie Is A Feminist Figure

(3/14) Why Barbie Is A Feminist Icon

She's a Barbie girl, in a feminist world.

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Last week, there were two important days that we celebrated. Coincidentally, they came right after each other.

On March 8th, we celebrated International Woman's Day, which is the anniversary of when women gained the right to vote in Russia. It is a way of fighting sexism and promoting women and girls. On March 9th, we celebrated Barbie's birthday, or rather the day Barbie dolls were launched. This year was particularly special because it was Barbie's 60th anniversary.

You might wonder what these two have to do with each other. Especially considering Barbie has been criticized for not being a feminist role model. The reason? She's too skinny, is obsessed with fashion, and always has Ken.

Well, as a lifelong fan of all things Barbie, I'm here to tell you that those reasons are bullshit and that Barbie is a perfectly amazing feminist role model.

First of all, the complaints about her body or interests are bullshit. Someone's appearance or passions shouldn't be used as a reason to make them a feminist. Also, Barbie has introduced dolls of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities in recent years, so they should be applauded for making a change for the future, not criticized for their past.

While Barbie is known for her clothing choices, and they are quite amazing, that's not her main selling point. Barbie has had many different career choices, from athlete to pop star, to a scientist. She can be served as an avatar for young girls to inspire people. In fact, Barbie runs a campaign encouraging girls to pursue their dream. Prior to Barbie's existence, the most popular dolls were baby dolls. Girls now had a doll that was older than them and had a career that they could aspire to be. The variety also meant that different types of girls could find at least one doll they were interested in. There are also special edition dolls of feminist figures like Misty Copeland, Ashley Graham, and Zendaya.

Barbie's main focus has always been her career, not Ken. Ken is a separate entity from her. They aren't a package deal, and when they are, Ken is not the main attraction. His role is to be a supporter of her, especially when a character of him appears in the film series.

Speaking of the Barbie film series, it is an amazing example of feminist films as well. With each film, the viewer gets a strong and dynamic female character as the lead, several interesting supporting female characters, male characters who are very supportive towards the women, and a racially diverse film. Not every film features a love story, and if they do, it usually isn't a major focal point. People give so much praise to recent Disney films for not featuring a love story and diversity, when Barbie has been doing this since 2009, with Barbie & The Three Musketeers.

Barbie is a feminist icon. Give her some respect.

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My Friend Got Sick In The Dominican Republic

From visiting the beautiful beaches to spending six hours in a hospital of a foreign country.

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I visited the Dominican Republic from June 7 to June 14 this summer for my high school graduation trip. My family and best friend Jordan stayed at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana. I'm not hopping onto the bandwagon of all these stories coming out about this country that relies so much on tourism. I'm not here to condemn the resort or the country, because despite all the trouble I went through, I had an amazing time. I'm simply here to tell my story about what happened.

Right before we left for the trip, we heard all the stories about people dying in the country. This obviously made us all paranoid because we didn't want to end up like those people. We wanted to be careful. Most of the people who died at resorts had a drink from the minibar in the hotel and were poisoned by insecticides, had bloody diarrhea, throwing up blood, and had eventually had respiratory problems. We were aware of the symptoms and were knowledgable before going into this foreign country.

The first four days of the trip we were all having an amazing time. We enjoyed the beautiful beaches, swimming in the fourteen different pools, and eating like gluttons. I met so many beautiful and kind people from the Dominican Republic. Every person welcomed us as "familia", Spanish for family. On the fourth day, we decided to go on an excursion through the hotel. We went snorkeling and swam through the clear blue water. Jordan and I danced with the crew members on the boat. We shopped for souvenirs from locals and finally called it a day.

When we got back on the bus to the resort, my dad was shivering and was short of breath. His stomach was cramping and his forehead was on fire like he had a fever. After the longest thirty minutes of my life worrying about him, we finally made it back and he rushed to the bathroom. For the next twelve hours, he rested in the hotel room. The next day he was fine and had seemed to just catch a twenty-four bug.

Then, the next night Jordan was spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I figured it was just because she was adjusting the spicy food of the Dominican and that it would pass. In the morning when I had woken up, she told me had a fever and had been going to the bathroom every hour. My mom gave her anti-diarrhea medicine and she felt better the next day after resting in the room. We got her dinner of a small pizza and we went to bed, an uneventful day.

Jordan woke me up at 2 A.M. that night calling my name from the bathroom and asking for a trashcan. It was coming out of both ends at this point. After calling my mom and her dad, who was still in the U.S., we decided to call the resort doctor and have her come to the room. The doctor then determined that she was extremely dehydrated and needed to be transported to the hospital.

We got there at 4:30 A.M.. and Jordan had an IV put into her with anti-diarrhea medicine and saline. After multiple tests, the doctors said that she had a bacterial infection in her stomach. They gave her antibiotics and multiple packets of pills to take home and we left the clinic at 10:30 A.M. at last. She's going to be fine, but we were all scared because of all the news stories going on.

When we got back to the resort, multiple people who we had seen at the clinic came up to us and told us how their relatives experienced the same thing Jordan had. When I did some research, an article stated that 45 people had gotten violently ill from eating at the Toro restaurant at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana, which is where we ate the night before Jordan got sick.

We were lucky, you could say. I'm not sure it's necessarily all the resort's fault or the country's though. Although all these things happened to us, I believe that it's a matter of doing your research before you go to any country. Any country's food could make you sick. We don't know exactly where Jordan or my dad got sick from. All these bad news stories coming out could've played into why we reacted so harshly.

Saying all this, I would still love to visit the Dominican Republic again. I want to visit so many other countries across the world. For anyone else that is reading this and is scared to visit a country like this, I say just go for it. Know the risks, but know that there are rewards. You can't let fear hold you back from living your life, because dying in America is just as likely from other things.

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A Tribute To Dads Everywhere: Happy Father's Day

It's a love without end, Amen.

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It's Father's Day season everybody, a time to thank our fathers, and to take special time to remember and honor the fathers no longer here with us as well. I'd like to give a huge shoutout to all the Dads out there: you are loved and appreciated more than you know! Happy Father's Day to you.

As I have grown up and matured, my relationship with my own Dad has changed tremendously. There is one thing that hasn't changed, though, and that's his ceaseless support of me and all of my endeavors, no matter how crazy he thinks they are. He's the one person I am certain will always be my biggest fan. (And you too of course, Mom!) That's what Dads do; they never fail to cheer you on.

You see, my Dad has never sat back on the sidelines. He's always wanted to be involved in whatever it was I was dealing with, from school to athletics to situations I wouldn't necessarily want to include him in (A.K.A., boy situations). Despite the latter, you gotta love 'em. That's what Dads do; they insert themselves into your lives, for they know what's best for you (or at least they think they do).

On a little aside, thank you Dad, for always being on my side, even when Mom was not. That's what Dads do; they help you stick up to the real boss. (Sorry, Mom!)

Without fail, my Dad is the guy up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning, revving up the lawn mower or banging a hammer somewhere, coercing my siblings and I out of bed to help him with his unending list of things to be done around the house. That's what Dads do; they teach you to work hard and do the most with the short time we have here on earth.

My Dad is the greatest advice-giver. He strives to lead a simple life, and I never really understood why until I got a little older. I've learned the best of life lessons from him over the years. After all, in the words of first Zac Brown, and then my father, "Life's too easy to be so damn complicated". There have been countless times that I've looked back and realized that my old man was right after all. They know what they're talking about. That's what Dads do; they share the most valuable life advice.

I can honestly say that my Dad is my absolute, hands-down, favorite person to drink a beer with. There's no one I have more fun with simply chillin' on the pier, sippin' Miller Lite and shootin' the breeze. I can honestly say he's one of my best friends. That's what Dads do; they're the most genuine pals you'll find in this life.

All in all, Father's Day, along with all the other 364 days in a year, is the perfect time to take a moment and appreciate all that your father has done for you, and continues to do. Above all, spend time with your Dad. Take him to a baseball game. Bring him to the bar with you. Ask him to take the boat for a cruise sometime. Time is so valuable. Trust me, it'll mean the world to him.

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