Letter: Put Barbie doll back in the box

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I WAS shocked and appalled to read Robert Gerber's article ('Manipulated Lady', The Sunday Review, 12 July). It is shameful that there are still those who would have us believe contemporary women have a profound longing to become like the sexual icons of times long past, that at the forefront of our thoughts today are the length of our legs, the shape of our breasts and the newest techniques in plastic surgery.

Mr Gerber would have done better to report about fashion photography without attempting to make a connection between fantasy images and 'modern woman'. There are many, many women today who in no way identify with either the Dolce e Gabbana-girl in a sack (enacting what looks like a strip tease) or with the ad of a model 'washing dishes in a happy kitchen, wearing a bra, a short towel and high- heeled sandals'.

Did it really not occur to Mr Gerber that perhaps it is male photographers and fashion designers, not women, who desire this so called perfection? Did it really not occur to Mr Gerber or the Independent on Sunday for that matter, that to print such an article without any critical stance whatsoever, would only serve to offend the many women who in no way choose to image themselves after a Barbie doll?

Eliza Tepper Gatfield

London W11