Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fifty Years of Barbie

Has the doll had a bad effect on our girls? Here are some thought-provoking reflections:
barbie.jpg
Barbie is unhealthy for girls, not just because she is immodest, but because she is so impossibly thin, with a figure that does not conform to normal human proportions. The International Journal of eating disorders has reported that if Barbie’s dimensions were projected to human size, they would be 38-18-34. Barbie dolls can cause girls to dislike their own body shape, and lead them toward eating disorders. The Journal of Developmental Psychology reported on
a study conducted to assess the impact of images of dolls on young girls. This study showed that, across the board, girls were more dissatisfied with their shape and desired more extreme thinness after seeing Barbie doll images than after seeing other pictures.
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9 comments:

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I wouldn't blame Barbie alone for little girls wanting to be thin. Take away Barbie and they'd probably still feel that way.

I'd say that the amount of stuff Barbie is supposed to have--and which Barbie owners are told they must have--is more harmful. Nobody needs a pink corvette to make her life complete, you know! =P

When I was a girl, I wasn't very interested in Barbie, but people kept giving me the dolls and her "accessories" anyway. I used the Barbie-sized furniture to make homes for my (smaller) Gummi Bear and Teddy Ruxpin figures. I think they turned the Barbie refrigerator into a boat!

elena maria vidal said...

I had an entire family of Barbies and would use them to invent stories about everything from pioneers to Plantagenets. I made clothes for them and my father built a Victorian doll house for them to live in. For me, they were a source of creativity; I certainly never expected or wanted to look like one. But everyone is different....

Ms. Lucy said...

I grew up with so many barbies and used them for all kinds of different games. I never thought of the doll as a role model of any sort- and of what I recall, none of my friends had disorders of any kind. Today, Barbie is no where near the popularity she held years ago. Bratz and others have replaced her-and they look way worse. (I know this because I have 4 daughters of different ages). It's not fair to put all the blame on Barbie; the media has has got a lot to do with it, in my opinion.

elena maria vidal said...

My first Barbie doll was "Skipper," a little girl doll with no figure and no make-up. My grandmother made a Spanish dress with matching mantilla for her to wear, as well as other beautiful dresses, lots of lace and ruffles. I had so much fun with that doll, fixing her hair and making her the heroine of my stories. I think a lot of the problems with Barbie depend on the clothes parents provide and their attitude about femininity in general.

Ms. Lucy said...

Oh! That reminds me of when I started knitting (at about 9, with my grandmother)- I used to make pretty shawls, ruffled hats and long skirts -Anne of Green Gables-types. I had Skipper too, and Tuti. Definitely, parents have an influence on attitudes and what they expose their children to.

Adrienne said...

I was blessedly spared Barbie (due to my age). My biggest problem with Barbie is,IMHO, she is just plain ugly.

I grew up with Madame Alexander dolls. Still the most beautiful (and worth a TON of money). I had a MA Cissy doll which can fetch $600.00 or more on ebay.

elena maria vidal said...

I loved Madame Alexander dolls! Mine was Scarlett O'Hara.

Athanasius said...

One might also mention the chief marketer of Barbie, Jack Ryan, was a pervert who had 5 wives, numerous affairs and re-invented it to indulge his sick perversions.

elena maria vidal said...

How disgusting.