In part one of this blog post, I gave some facts about the infamous Barbie doll by Mattel and how unrealistically she is proportioned. Barbie has been a popular toy for girls age 3-12 for over 50 years and has come to represent for many the perfect, ideal woman with her long blonde hair and slim body. However, if a woman really existed who had Barbie’s proportions, she would have a hard time walking on her size 3 feet and wouldn’t have room in her body for a full liver or full intestines. Furthermore, her long slim neck wouldn’t be able to hold up her huge head.
Rehab.com has a Barbie infographic that reveals the impossibilities of the doll’s physical body and more statistics comparing Barbie, models, and anorexics.
It’s no secret that we have an epidemic of eating disorders, body image issues, low self-esteem, and other eating problems in this country. Media images constantly bombard us with “perfect” role models that send the message to women, girls, and also to men and boys that we should conform as closely as possible to their example. We are seeing eating disorders starting earlier and earlier in young girls. We are also seeing more men developing eating disorders.
I was especially interested in all of the facts and images of Barbie because of my own love for Barbie dolls when I was a little girl. Nickolay Lamm, photographer and visual artist, created a Barbie doll based on the body proportions of an average, healthy 19 year old American woman.
I love Lamm’s conclusion: "If there's even a small chance of Barbie in its present form negatively influencing girls, and if Barbie looks good as an average-sized woman in America, what's stopping Mattel from making one?"
My conclusion: Step up to the plate Mattel!
If you're struggling with your own body image, we have a group starting in September that's just for you.
Read more from Stacey on the GROW Counseling blog.