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A view of the subjects covered by the animated series “The Simpsons”

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  1. Introduction
  2. Act of feminism
  3. Petrochem Petrochemical Corporation
  4. Lisa's doll
  5. Lisa's message
  6. The DVD commentary of the episode
  7. Media and sexism
  8. Barbie and cultural promotion
  9. Conclusion

The animated series ?The Simpsons? has covered many serious subjects, offering intelligent insight into society's problems. One great thing about the show is that it uses nonstop humor to entice viewers who may not otherwise be interested in sitting through a social commentary on racism, sexual harassment, or the way our culture pushes constricting gender roles on young children.

?Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy? is a 1994 episode that is at least as relevant in today's world as it was when originally aired. I watched the episode twice, taking notes the second time and frequently utilizing the pause button on my remote in order to catch details that eluded me the first time around. The episode starts with Grandpa Simpson announcing to the family that he will give them their inheritance money early. Lisa heads to the local toy store and straight to the brand new display of Malibu Stacy dolls? the doll's name being the only thing separating it from the actual Barbie dolls the episode is commenting on.

[...] In a scene I have sadly experienced with a crowd much older than Lisa Simpson's elementary school friends, the mention of sexism incites laughter by those who think she is saying a dirty word, something more akin to or than something more along the lines of racism or ageism. Sadly, Lisa heroically continues her stance against the doll's message only to be met with further opposition. Her family sits in confused silence as she professes her beliefs, and she is verbally discouraged by her mother to pursue any quest to change things. [...]

[...] It is so important to take a look at the cultural force that is Barbie, simply because of her huge?not to mention international?fan-base. Dolls are often what provide children with their first instructions on what a female should be. They speak of what is loved, valued and considered beautiful. This can affect young boys as well as girls. But girls are most violently struck by the often destructive messages touted regarding what beauty female is. Due to her unrealistic proportions, Barbie would collapse if she were a real woman. [...]

[...] Models like Tyra Banks, Beyonce Knowles and Naomi Campbell are tall and thin with light brown skin, slim noses, and straight hair. As far as I know, this is not an accurate picture of most people I know. The politics of Barbie are a force that teaches even girls who are privileged by being white, rich and pretty, that they simply are not good enough. This is why I praise Simpsons? for straying from the messages that much of mainstream media shoves down the public throat. With ?reality? shows taking up TV. space with images of impossibly fit and [...]

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