Today, Barbie has come to symbolize any stunningly beautiful, but stupid or shallow young woman (see bimbo and dumb blonde). Likewise her male counterpart Ken symbolizes an American college football jock. They both major in a Mickey Mouse course and are emblematic of American popular culture.
More specifically Barbie has been criticized for promoting a false female body image due to Barbie’s size zero (see heroin chic), perhaps most vociferously at the 2006 Madrid Fashion Week. Commercial appropriations have included The Body Shop‘s “There are 3 billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do” campaign; satirical variants include Todd Haynes‘s Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. For an innocuous satire check “I’m a Barbie Girl.”