Beauty and gender

This essay will resemble the previous essays in terms of the overall organization and required components, and the body paragraphs should be developed to the same extent as the second formal essay. The additional component of this essay is the requirement that essay should very clearly respond to and include examples and details from the associated readings. The criteria on the associated rubric reflect this emphasis.
Select one of the following prompts for discussion in a five paragraph essay of the variety you have practiced this semester. Your paper should have an introduction with a clear thesis statement, three distinct body paragraphs that support that thesis, and a conclusion. A successful essay will answer the prompt by incorporating the associated readings using specific references and details from them. This may be done by using examples from the reading(s) to support your own points, or you may choose to respond to a point (or points) from the reading(s).

Writing Prompts:
Both Emily Prager and Dave Barry make the point that Barbie may set an unreasonable expectation of beauty for young girls. Similar arguments have been made about toys such as G.I. Joe supporting unrealistic ideals of masculinity. What are the major influences on a young person’s ideas of what men and women should be?
Prager and Barry draw very distinct lines between the expectations of men and expectations of women. While Prager discusses what she finds strange about Barbie and Ken dolls, Barry focuses more on what he finds strange about the amount of effort many women put into looking “beautiful.” Why is there such a difference between what many people think men and women should look like?
Although neither Prager nor Barry make explicit claims about the damages the expectations of appearance can cause, many studies have revealed serious problems that can result from trying to achieve an unrealistic goal of being the ideal man or woman. Do men or women face more problems as a result of what society expects of them?
While it would be unfair to say that everyone actively supports the unrealistic ideals for women that Prager and Barry discuss, there are certainly still many factors that make females feel pressured to be a certain kind of beautiful. What steps can we take to reduce the negative effects resulting from what society says women “should” look like?
Associated Rubric: ENG 100 Rubric 3
Associated Readings: “Our Barbies, Ourselves” (Prager) and “The Ugly Truth About Beauty” (Barry)