Barbie in “real” size. My thoughts.

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Have you seen this picture floating around Facebook recently? It seems every second person on my friend list is posting it lately, and I must say it’s brought a few thoughts to my mind. Some serious, some not, and some I wouldn’t have had before I was the mother of a daughter.

So here goes:

1) Hells yeah, Barbie finally has some booty! I mean, I could be wrong on this, but most men like a bit of junk in the trunk. At least most men I’ve spoken to anyway. Most women, have a bit of junk in their trunk. Some women have no butt, true, but most do. There’s nothing wrong with a little booty. Heck, isn’t that why “Bootylicious” was officially added to the dictionary?

2) From the side, looks great! From the front… something is off? Oh wait. I don’t know about you women, but I DO have a neck. I get that Barbie’s is too long (and thin). I see that you’ve made the neck a more realistic girth. But I am pretty sure I have more space between my shoulders and ears than that.

3) Sweet, you’ve given her some thighs! Would be great if they touched though. Just saying. I mean I know we all think thighs shouldn’t touch, but let’s be realistic. They do. They rub together. I think that’s part of a womanly figure myself.

4) I played with Barbie growing up, and I don’t remember ever thinking to myself “OMG I have to have THIS body when I grow up!”. Not once actually. I do remember saying “Mom, can my next Barbie have brown hair like me?”, and thinking “I wonder if Mom will find out if I just cut off a little bit of her hair”. You know you did it too. Half the fun of Barbie’s long hair was chopping it all off!

5) Do I think some people can be affected by the original Barbie’s body image? Sure. But I think those people likely had other poor influences as well though, and likely not parents who were active in teaching them about healthy body images, what’s realistic, etc. Just my opinion. I may get flack for it, but Barbie isn’t the only reason people have poor self-esteem and body image issues.

6) I’d rather my kid play with a Barbie than one of those Bratz dolls. Have you seen them?

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Could they dress them any trashier and put any more skanky styled make-up caked on their face? I think they’re a worse influence than Barbie is. At least with Barbie, she has been a veterinarian, a teacher, a doctor, a pilot, etc. Those Bratz dolls are just teens who put value in nothing except slutty clothes and faces painted up like clowns. Exactly what I want my daughter to be (insert eye roll here). Whatever happened to Skipper? At least she was spunky and athletic!

I think it’s great that someone out there has made this new Barbie, but we still have a long way to go. Women come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and ethnicities. I get that it would probably cost Mattel a great deal of money to have many different sized and shaped molds to make so many different kinds of Barbie. But imagine the effect it could have on our young girls? They could finally get a Barbie that really looks like them, their Mom, their best friend, their teacher, or a multitude of women who are positive influences in their lives. The women who they already see as beautiful in their eyes, until society tells them otherwise.

What do you think of the new “real” Barbie that was prototyped here? Do you think Barbie’s body really holds as much weight on a child’s self-image as critics say it does?

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26 thoughts on “Barbie in “real” size. My thoughts.

  1. I’m with you on the whole barbie thing. I have been a mom to a little girl for a whopping 44 days, and to be honest barbies haven’t been the #1 thing on my mind, but I have seen those bratz dolls and I can’t stand them. I played with Barbies and like you I never thought that I needed to look like her. You’re right, there is more to the self image/self esteem issue then the barbies we let our kids play with. How about those advertisements that only show super skinny, model thin, photoshopped girls wearing clothes? I think that’s where the real issue lies. (also the new ‘real’ Barbie doesn’t look proportional for me)

  2. i remember thinking that Jem looked more real than my barbie dolls.

    I also agree that her neck was kinda weird. I think Body Shop had a “real barbie” image that was larger than this barbie (Ruby the “Anti-Barbie” from 1998, which the Body Shop was attacked by Mattel for doing so: http://absenceofalternatives.com/2011/06/the-curious-case-of-ruby-the-anti-barbie.html )

    i would have to say that i disagree about those girls who have body image issues due to poor parenting… i am a firm believer of the research that points to our overall social objectification and sexualization of women and girls… which sometimes has nothing to do with parenting. 🙂

  3. I didn’t have Barbie but a rather fabulous doll called a Tressie doll. You could have her hair at different lengths by using the little winder on her back to grow it or shorten it. I don’t remember ever wanting to look like her but I did want the long hair. Memories.x

  4. Not to mention that the real barbie there is white, blonde, thin, blue eyed, most-likely wealthy, high SEO and American, belly baring, young thing. Pretty sure a real woman does not look like that. The Bratz dolls are terrifying. The little girl I babysat just lost hers on the bus and I can’t help but think that’s a good thing even though she was terribly sad. I too don’t remember thinking I wanted to look like Barbie, but I think these dolls offer a terrible standard on what is beautiful.

    • She’s probably sad that she lost her doll, but I’m with you. It’s probably a good thing she did.
      You’re very right about the way Barbie looks – though they have made other ethnicities, and ones with different hair colours.
      We can only hope they’ll continue to make changes.

  5. I love that this new doll actually has a butt! I have always been NON-flat in the rear end (yeah, let’s say it that way…) 😉 so I appreciate that someone finally realizes Barbie has none!
    My husband sure loves that I have “junk in my truck”!! lol I read him your first paragraph (where you’re describing the doll) and we both were cracking up! 😀
    Great post.

  6. I’m with you on all points. Have you seen the Monster High dolls? When I first saw them I was actually offended. (I don’t offend easily). I loved my Barbies growing up. I’ve always struggled with my weight but have never had a self esteem issue. I don’t blame Barbie for my weight issues and I owe my high self esteem to my mom.

    • Someone else mentioned Monster High dolls so I had done a google search to see what they were all about. They look basically like the slutty bratz dolls in skanky Halloween costumes to me, but I take it they are supposed to be monsters? Just awful. Gag worthy.
      I’ve struggled with my weight as well, as you could probably tell by my description of myself in my “about” section. But I’ve learned that skinny doesn’t necessarily equate to happy and well-adjusted. I’m just fine with how I am, and hope to be able to instill the same confidence in my daughter as she grows up.

  7. Great post. As for the thigh thing I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that some women will have thighs touching even if they are super skinny. It’s actually an unachievable ideal for most of us!

  8. I agree completely. My daughter is 5 but when she was very young, we decided we wanted to wait a loooong time let her have one because we thought they would teach her bad things. haha. But then at 2, she saw one and had to have it, we relented. And I agree, that the Barbie is not going to make her have a bad body image…their sense of self comes from so many places. I agree that they really need to make Barbie in more colors, hair colors and hair styles at least. I despise the Bratz dolls but even worse are the creepy Monster High Dolls…I had to flat out tell my daughter she will never be allowed to have one.

    • I’ve never heard of Monster High dolls, so I had to do a google search to see what you were referring to. They basically look like the slutty bratz dolls in skanky Halloween costumes. I take it they are supposed to be monsters?
      Uggh. It seriously makes me want to puke.

  9. I was debating the Barbie issue a few weeks ago before all these posts started showing up and it is hard to know what to think! My daughter already obsesses over matching accessories and looking beautiful and everything and she is only three! I thought that buying her a beautiful Barbie and getting her tons of fancy items for Barbie would promote more materialism????? But maybe it wouldn’t change who she is since she already seems to love ‘things’ so much and we did not teach her to love stuff she just does. I (obviously) don’t want her growing up thinking she has to have everything like Barbie, and look like Barbie to be happy, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that her worldview is not going to be shaped by one toy.
    The inappropriately dressed dolls, though, are out of the question. I have realized that our culture has a growing fascination with sensuality and death and I am going to steer my children away from that!

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