Jonathan Vick Mrs. Howell English 122 HO2 19 March 2012 Young Children Do Not Care In Evolving Ideals of Male Body Image as Seen Through Action Toys, Harrison G. Pope, Jr. , Robert Olivardia, Amanda Gruber, and John Borowiecki make a hypothesis that the increase in muscle size and definition on certain male action figures over the last few decades has contributed to the current increase in body dysmorphic disorder among males of all ages. However, hasn’t everything changed over the last few decades?
From new technology to the use of new language, almost everything has been altered over time including male action figures. American cultures emphasis on improvement in turn means GI Joe’s biceps will become unrealistically large, but the writers fail to mention he will also acquire more detailed clothing and enhanced accessories. The writers fall short in consider that everything improves, children simply play, and extra time spent in the gym is not necessarily a bad idea.
First, the comparison between the GI Joe’s over the last few decades does show the increase in muscle mass as stated, but it does not mention the other improvements in the same toys. For example, the detail in clothing and expression on the face have also become far more imminent. This improvement is a result of every industries, including the toy-makers, push to enhance their product in any way they can. Making the statement that male action figures have led to the use of steroids is an opinion and fallacy.
No research was done on how many body-building steroid users have an obsession with mirroring their favorite childhood GI Joe Extreme Sergeant Savage edition, but it is inferred that this GI Joe brings this out in the steroid user. As everything over the years changes and improves, why not let male action figures as well? In addition, the huge biceps and massive chest add to the imagination of the child playing with them. No young boy wants to send Barbie’s boyfriend Ken into battle. The boy wants a shirtless beast running onto the frontline ouncing bullets of his chest as he charges toward the enemy with a fierce look on his face. To think that this young boy is going to cut out of his playtime to proportion his GI Joe’s muscles to a life-sized male is bordering humorous. The only person noticing that Luke Skywalker and Hans Solo have gained some inches around the chest are the people over-analyzing everything these days. Children just want to play with their toys, and young boys just want to use their imagination. Lastly, isn’t the bigger issue that obesity is becoming a huge factor in our country; therefore, more time in the gym is a good thing.
I understand that there are a few that will take it to the extreme and spend nearly half of their life in the gym and taking steroids to merely look good on the beach. However, most of the population is not part of the “obsessive-compulsive spectrum. ” If making GI Joe look like Hercules means more people will get some physical exercise then more power to the toy-makers. Nevertheless, young boys just want to play with their toys and use their imagination without the bother of being asked if they feel inferior to their GI Joe.
The writers of this article should consider that everything improves, children simply want to play, and extra time in the gym is a good thing. Over-analyzing the small things should be the focus of their next article in which they research how much people do not care about action figure muscle size. In the long run, GI Joe, Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo and their comrades should be left alone and allowed to hit the gym and develop some muscles over a few decades if the companies such as Hasbro and Kenner see fit.