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Girls and Dolls Megan K Palmer, SUNY Geneseo

Girls and Dolls is a critical look at the deliberate promotion of beauty standards doll companies produce and market towards young girls. Society rewards women who use makeup to be beautiful, and treats those who may not always choose traditional femininity (makeup/fashion) as lesser. Dolls, marketed as a girl's "mini-me," represent ideal femininity because they always look presentable (painted lips, many outfits, one size), which introduces young girls early on to 'ideal' ways of presenting themselves, ensuring these girls become the women society wants them to be. To combat this, I encourage and recognize doll lovers who use social media to create dolls and doll stories that are more inclusive of underrepresented communities. With more representation, perhaps this is a step to redefining how girls see their dolls, and themselves, as beautiful.