Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Literature and Art Studies








The relation between commodities and consumers is directly related to the transactional relationship between kids and their interaction with the toys. The paper aims to critique how female representation through Barbie Dolls in popular culture shapes female identity. Production and consumption of Barbie dolls in India became a way of socializing mechanism to educate young Indian girls on the concept of beauty. A notion of beauty is attached to blue eyes, skinny waist, and fair skin giving rise to “American Exceptionalism” (Madsen, 2009, p. 14), where the model nation conceptualizes itself though national identity where perceiver compels to transform themselves to “fit in.” I want to study the relationship between body, embodiment, and technology through the representation of Barbie dolls in media and the political orientation of its stereotypical and ethnocentric identity formation giving rise to cultural production. I want to find out how gendered representations produces itself on television and the internet, which continue to make “coding of the body” (Barker et al., 2005, p. 5) through evidence of Barbie’s aesthetic appeal. Barbie allows Indian girls to play with their senses of self in a way that plays a crucial role in identity formation. Young Indian girls can see and also read themselves as fixed objects within a closed system of commodification. Through the theoretical concept of “American Exceptionalism”, the paper will analyze how social identification conceived through the media industry. Central to the mass production and mass consumption of Barbie Dolls is also the notion of developing the culture of promotion and advertising that supports the selling process. Centralized financial capital and the cost of Barbie Dolls divides the consumption market as possessing a Barbie Doll becomes a symbol of elitism in Indian households.

Original Publication Citation

Bhadania, N. A. (2021). The (mis) representation of racialized minorities: Barbie dolls as social problems in India. Journal of Literature and Art Studies, 11(9), 637-649.