Feminist Issue- Barbie's Dimensions

| 7 Comments

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my friends about girls bodies and how some girls can be so lucky to have such a proportional body. This conversation led on to talking about Barbie's body in relation to our body, since I have heard that the relation was really messed up. If Barbie were real, she would have a 42D chest, 32 inch hips, and an 18- inch waist. This is CRAZY! Barbie impacts so many little girls' lives, and it is disheartening to know that little girls look up to Barbie, and want to look just as pretty as their dolly. I wasn't a huge Barbie fan as a little girl, but thank god I wasn't. My body image could be very distorted. I think this is a feminist issue because no little girl should have that "Barbie looking" image for themselves. I hate that our society is so much about pretty, skinny girls. It's not reality. It's reality to be healthy and happy, and that is all that really should matter.

Comments

  1. Yes! Thanks for posting--Barbie is a huge feminist issue not only for purporting an impossible idyllic body type, but other implications as well. Notice that Barbie and Ken are both white; notice that accessories for Barbie and Ken are nice clothes and nice cars. Sure, Barbie can play dress up and be a doctor or a teacher, but she still sets an example for young girls that a) you should look like her in all her 18 inch waist, 42D, blond-haired glory, b) only same-race heterosexual relationships are acceptable, c) we want material goods! clothes! convertible cars! You should want them too! d) all of the above.

    The emphasis Barbie has is not that women can have any occupation they want- the original marketing tactic for the doll- but that blond-haired, blue-eyed, big-breasted, long-legged women are the ideal, which you point out is problematic. However, Barbie's boyfriend and her skin color are problematic as well.

  2. This is quite startling. I have never seen the relation of Barbie’s dimensions to a real life person. Those dimensions you point out are entirely unrealistic without some type of surgery or enhancement. Furthermore, Barbie is also disturbing because for a long time Barbie only came in the white and blonde variety. Still, the majority of Barbie dolls are of the white and blonde variety. What makes Barbie dolls unsettling is that young girls play with them at an early age. Therefore, at an early age, young girls are already being taught what it means to be beautiful. This warps their self image at an early age and can lead to numerous internalized problems for a young girl. It is somewhat surprising that as long as Barbie dolls have existed, there has not been any shift or movement to make a more realistic doll for young girls to play with. Early on in their lives, girls are being taught what it is to be beautiful and throughout their lives these unrealistic depictions are reinforced by magazines, television, movies and any other form of media. It would be interesting to see feminists create a mainstream doll for all girls.

  3. user-pic Author Profile Page justsaying | May 4, 2010 11:01 AM

    It is truly disheartening to know that girls look at Barbie considered it to be the ideal beautiful body. Like you all said, the dimensions of Barbie are unrealistic, actually unnatural. In high school, I saw a great video that shows Barbie dimensions are just plain crazy and unrealistic. A teacher had a projectile of life size of Barbie’s body against a wall and had girls go against to the wall. All types of girls, skinny or not, could see that NO ONE looks like that NATURALLY. Boys also did the same against ken's body.

  4. user-pic Author Profile Page justsaying | May 4, 2010 11:02 AM

    It is truly disheartening to know that girls look at Barbie considered it to be the ideal beautiful body. Like you all said, the dimensions of Barbie are unrealistic, actually unnatural. In high school, I saw a great video that shows Barbie dimensions are just plain crazy and unrealistic. A teacher had a projectile of life size of Barbie’s body against a wall and had girls go against to the wall. All types of girls, skinny or not, could see that NO ONE looks like that NATURALLY. Boys also did the same against ken's body.

  5. This topic one that is close to my heart, not technically the idea of 'barbie's body', but the in general idea of women/girl's body image and the damage that things such as 'barbie dolls' can do to young girl's view of themselves. I do not think that today's social media is giving a healthy mindset for females and they are setting totally unrealistic standards for women and their body, and this causes so many women to feel bad about themselves and it leads to a very unhealthy mindset and body image. I have been around a lot of people with eating disorders. I was on a gymnastics team that battled with this problem quite frequently. I, luckily, never had this problem. I mean yes, I complain about my body but I am never going to act on the idea. Also, my best friend is currently battling anorexia. This is why I feel so strongly about this topic, and I feel that things such as 'barbie dolls' may have no effect on some young girls, but they can have a detrimental effect on some young girls that may cause a lot of problems later in life.

  6. I agree with your post here. I however was a big barbie fan as a kid, and it could be part of the reason to this day I still have negative body issues. Although I typically just enjoyed dressing Barbie up and making up elaborate stories to play out. I just cannot understand how Barbie still to this day is shaped that way. In a life size form that isn't the slightest bit attractive and it would be painful. I'm not sure if all people have heard about the lady who tried to be Barbie, but that story alone should have changed the way Barbie was made. This woman went as far as reshaping her feet to look like Barbie's weirdly shaped feet. This woman has had hundreds of surgery's in order to fit this ideal. Which should be an eye opener to all---she had to have surgery to look like this doll. No human could actually achieve it without!

  7. user-pic Author Profile Page Michelle J. | May 7, 2010 10:42 PM

    I totally agree with you guys' ideas. Not just Barbies, but also celebrities and models bring issues, especially to women. Some people care too much about ways they look like, they try to make good body shapes by doing unhealthy ways such like not eating or puking after eating or having plastic surgery instead of having healthy meals and exercising enough. I realized our pop culture can bring really dangerous and serious issues such thing like this.

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