At the beginning of the year the professor in my environmental challenges course in attempt to grasp our attention to the awareness of the pollution caused by overconsumption through a couple of startling facts my way that without doubt scared me completely. Apparently if you took every Barbie doll produced since about 1960 and lined them up head to toe you could encircle the Earth about seven times! To me this presents two serious issues. The first being the most obvious what happens to all those Barbies when they are thrown out for the latest toy? After searching various websites I did come across any exact figure of how long it would take a Barbie to decompose, but it was said on most occasion that it would take at least up to a thousand years for the Barbie’s plastic self to decompose. A thousand years! And there are how many of these things laying around?!
This brings forth the second issue, which connects itself more so to our area of focus; how on earth are that many Barbies sold? This brings forth the re-occurring idea expressed by Dr. Strangelove in his class lectures, that the idea of our society to always buy more will never cease to exist. We now live in a world where you the major and prominent form of expression is by the things you own. How sad is this? By this disgustingly large figure of Barbie purchases than even young girls have adopted this ‘buy-more/own-more’ syndrome. Will the common attitude of society ever include sharing? Maybe it’s time to allow Barbie to redeem herself as potential educational-teaching toy and tool and advertise to young girls to share these toys once they are done playing with them, instead of having to produce millions of plastic dolls. And if this upsets the capitalist ideas of toy manufactures, let them over-produce the “Share-a-Barbie” instructional books… at least these will decompose quicker.