Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Barbie threatens our children's self-esteem

            If you were once a little girl, more than likely you have played with Barbies. I know I did all the time. I couldn’t tell you when I got my first Barbie, but I was fascinated with her. She came with different colored hair. I always had a ton of clothes to dress her up in. I always played out her life as I had hoped mine would go, even in those days. The thing I didn’t realize when I was playing with this seemingly harmless doll was that she was not as harmless as I saw her.
            Barbie is corrupting the minds of our children. Every girl wants to grow up to be like Barbie: long blonde hair, enough clothes that we couldn’t possibly not have something to wear, a cute, dainty, face, and of course, Barbie’s body. The last one, we don’t generally think about much as a child, but I personally believe that it’s been subconsciously drilled into our brains. I still want all those other nice things Barbie had, minus the blonde hair. I would love the endless wardrobe, a brand new car, or a beach playhouse. Now that I’m older, I realize I’d also like Barbie’s perfect body.
            What I didn’t realize for a long time is that Barbie’s perfect body is not so perfect and far from achievable. Figuring Barbie’s measurements wasn’t an easy task, but they were along these lines. A real life Barbie would be 5’9”, weight 110 pounds and have a BMI associated with anorexia. She would be too thin to menstruate. According to Camille Keaeplin, Ph.D, “Over exposure to beauty oriented images in the media can have negative effects on self-perception and self-esteem.” If Barbie were blown up to life-size, she would look a lot like this:           

She’s just awkward looking. Her legs are pencil thin, Her boobs would more than likely break her back, and her waist is so tiny I don’t believe the organs that need to be there could even fit. Many girls have had plastic surgeries costing them thousands upon thousands of dollars to look exactly like this doll we played with as children. The most famous now-Barbie-lookalike is Valeria Lukyanova, and to see her in public would terrify me.

            There have been many indirect links to Barbie and anorexia. The Alliance of Eating Disorders Awareness reports that 70 million people worldwide suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. About 90% of those are young women between the ages of 12 and 25. Remember, these are all women that more than likely played with Barbie dolls as a child.
            Young children are like sponges. We all know the effects of children growing up in broken homes. Those things happen to you as a child, but you don’t realize later that it was going to affect they way you spoke to people and cause trust issues. Barbie does the same thing to little girls, except in the line of body image. They take in her image and believe this is the way that girls should be when they grow up.
            So what do Barbie dolls teach children about the world? It is ideal to be perfect. You won’t achieve that perfection unless you are extremely thin, have big boobs, a sexy boyfriend, a brand-new high class car, and a gorgeous mansion. That just isn’t fair. Having all of these things is highly unrealistic.
            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming it all on Barbie. Magazines, television, and peer pressure are all contributing factors, but I do believe Barbie has her role in this all as well.
            I want to encourage you parents that have daughters and even those of you who just know daughters of friends and such to talk about this with her. Let her know that Barbie is just a doll, she isn’t realistic. Barbie weight cannot be achieved. Help your children focus on healthy behaviors instead of trying to be unrealistically thin. Look for other dolls and toys that promote high self esteem. Don’t kick Barbie out, but talk to your children.

Also, Barbie changed from the 90’s to 2000’s. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. She’s still highly unrealistic in weight, but a little more so in body type. In any case, she now has flesh colored underwear and an ass. Here is a picture, you can spot the differences.

I'm adding on a little more information I just found, here.

Slumber Party Barbie was intoduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs. It also contained a book entitled "How to Lose Weight" with directions inside simply stating, "Don't Eat."

While your at it, Don't forget to take a look at Unfinished

No comments:

Post a Comment