The Negative Effects of Barbie on Young Girls and the Long Term Results
Written By: Stephanie Hoskins
I remember when I was a little girl, I used to love playing with my Barbie. I would dress her up in all these different outfits, and style her hair differently every day. She was my side-kick and I loved everything about her.
Barbie dolls have been in existence since 1959, and have become the idea of what society thinks is a "perfect woman". Barbie has a small waist, long legs, big eyes, long hair, and a proportionate bust and butt size. I never understood how much of an impact Barbie had on my perception of beauty and how it affected the way I lived my life growing up.
When reading this article my eyes were opened. Looking back, I was subconsciously making decisions on my eating habits as well as my participation in sports. I strived for those long skinny legs and flat stomach. I played three sports a year, just because I wanted to maintain my image of the "perfect body" and skipped out on get-togethers and events that I desperately wanted to attend. When my friends were eating cookies and drinking pop, I drank water and had a Nutrigrain bar. My friends around me would always say how I was so lucky to have the body I have, and how they were so jealous. But when seeing how much I missed out on and all of the memories made without me, I realized if I could do it all over again I wouldn't have been so obsessed with maintaining my figure and just enjoyed my childhood with my friends.
The professors discovered that those exposed to Barbie doll images produced "lower self-esteem and a greater desire for a thinner body shape than in the other exposed conditions." Although, the oldest girls did not have an immediate negative impact from the Barbie doll images. The study concluded that "these findings imply that, even if dolls cease to function as aspirational role models for older girls, early exposure to dolls epitomizing an unrealistically thin body ideal may damage girls' body image, which would contribute to an increased risk of disordered eating and weight cycling."
I am convinced that Barbie's should not be sold anymore because it is negatively impacting young children all over the world. When I have kids I will be sure that they will not own Barbie's, it is poison to little girls minds.