Is Barbie a bad or good influence on young girls?
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Petra - posted on 12/28/2010
Sure, and My Little Pony encourages false notions of purple ponies who can talk. Anthropomorphizing animals and encouraging false ideas about the realistic colors of fur could lead to emotional damage too.
No, her body is not realistic; but neither are the physical characteristics of most children's toys. Kids will only learn to place a high value upon physical attributes such as boobs or huge pecs if they are taught to. Barbie at least allows kids to use their imaginations - she doesn't talk or move on her own so little girls have to be pretty engaged to be amused.
Like Sarah said, making a big deal out of it will draw further attention to the so-called negative aspects of Barbie - she's only a tiny stripper if your child makes her strip, and then you'd have to look to who is teaching your 5 year old about strippers.
Sharon - posted on 12/28/2010
EVERYTHING has been getting smaller for the past 50 fucking years. Radios, tvs, Mp3 players, cellphones, the house phone, books.
Apparently the only thing we want large these days are tvs and cocks.
Women were 'getting' smaller long before barbie was introduced.
My daughter doesn't really care for barbie. I'm not sure why. She's never asked for one, she's gotten them as gifts and they get tossed to the side.
My daughter has a very secure sense of SELF. She enjoys being HER. If others don't like it, well, it hurts her feelings but she moves past that and looks for others who enjoy the same things she does.
The only toy not allowed here (and its a moot point now) are bratz dolls. Thats because of ME. I just don't like them or the message I get from them. My daughter doesn't see "self entitled little children assholes". She sees pretty dolls with lots of sparkly stuff. Pretty much the same way she sees other dolls. I banned Bratz dolls in my house because of the way I see them.
You - as adults - see barbie in a far different manner than your kids. My daughter has NEVER - at 8 years old - mentioned that she wants to stay skinny or be skinny or wants blonde hair or black hair.
I wonder what kids have been exposed to that they feel they need to change themselves?
She does have a friend who says odd things like "I want to dye my hair" this kid is not happy being herself. Her mom drinks, diets all the time, often expresses the same wishes. She isn't happy with herself.
I don't tell my kids "I'm fat and I'm ugly." If I'm commiserating about my weight, I try to phrase it positively..."I need to get healthier. It sucks not being able to do the things I used to." shit like that.
People think they're kids are little idiots who don't pick up on the messages said by the most important people around them. they're the ones who are idiots. Your kids are repeating back what someone they cared about said.
NOT what some doll "represents".
Jenn - posted on 12/29/2010
Why do you keep calling her anorexic? Does she require food? Does she starve herself? Does she binge and purge? No - she's a doll. There are some people in the real world who are that small naturally - they are not anorexic. Perhaps they would feel hurt that you called them anorexic just because they are small. And here's another thought - while most girls will have moments of feeling uncomfortable in their own skin - perhaps if our society as a whole didn't feed our kids so much crap food and let them sit around like lumps on a log, there wouldn't be so many fat-ass kids that we all have to walk on eggshells so as not to hurt their feelings just because they are unhealthy. "Here little Susie, here's a fat doll so that you'll feel good about your fat little self."
Tara - posted on 12/29/2010
As far as little boys seeing large breasted dolls and what that might do to them (Julianne's story of GI joe's orgy with Barbie and friends) my sons always see/saw my boobs, I breastfeed and I have a HUGE rack. Has not affected how my sons see women. If anything my breastfeeding has probably turned my sons off of being "boob men" lol
Julianne, you said you don't think outside the box, you live outside the box, my attitude is that we as parents have the greatest influence over our children.
You seem like a strong willed, independent forward thinking mom, I would think you have the confidence to know that despite whatever toys your child plays with, YOUR lifestyle, YOUR example YOUR influence will always take precedent over any other influences. In my opinion, to ban Barbie is like saying you are worried that her influence will be greater than yours and you don't want to take that chance.
Raise your daughter with confidence, raise her with self awareness, raise her with a good sense of individuality and raise her to respect herself and all others and Barbie shouldn't be a problem, neither will all the other societal pressures to be "perfect". Give yourself some credit for being a wise mother who will expose her child to the world, with a guiding hand and a loving heart. You are her ultimate teacher. You determine in a large part how she sees herself. Not a piece of plastic that isn't even anatomically correct. (she has no vagina!! That is a pretty big indicator that she isn't a real representation of a real person. Even little kids can see that.)
And not all Barbies are blonde!!!
My one daughter has a Barbie that used to have long brown hair, she teased the crap out of it to make it into dread locks to look like John Butler from the John Butler Trio.... that just shows that despite the fact my girls play with Barbies every day, they put their own spin on it, because they are independent thinkers who think outside the box, why?? Cause that's how I raised them.
they also watch tv and movies with "perfect" people in them. Still no problems with their self esteem, why? Cause I raised them.
Jodi - posted on 12/28/2010
(1) That link is a study of 162 kids.......that's a single study of a VERY small number the population. The sample size in this instance is not large enough to make a conclusion about the general population.
(2) The study actually did not allow the children their own creative play, it GAVE them the story about Barbie and the Emme doll in a way that MADE them look at the bodies of both dolls. It appears to have actually made the children focus on the body shapes, which is not generally what happens when little girls play with the dolls in free play.
(3) What five year old can truly answer a question like "I really like what I weigh"? Honestly, my 5 year old wouldn't have a clue what she weighs.
(4) There is a big chance these girls were already exposed to Barbie, and had these dolls at home, but had never seen an Emme doll, and therefore, was more likely to respond positively to Barbie because she is more familiar.
(5) We are unable to see the images that were used, but there is a strong possibility that the Barbie clothes may have been more stylish. The images weren't wearing the same clothes from what I understand, so that is a variable too, not just the body size.
(6) It is actually only implied that older girls have already internalised being thin - this study doesn't conclude that, it requires further study, because their internalised body image may be due to any number of factors, and this study was unable to in any way conclude that Barbie caused this.
(7) There was no data taken of the girl's body esteem BEFORE the study, so there is actually no proof that the study resulted in that body esteem in the first place. They may already have been vulnerable.
(8) Relying on the anecdotes/responses of 5-7 year olds.....um, yeah.
All this study does is indicate the need for further longitudinal research. It is not proof of anything. It has made some interesting suggestions, but they don't mean anything.
This conversation has been closed to further comments
Mrs. - posted on 12/29/2010
I know others have said it...BMI is a bit of a dinosaur- even Dr Oz doesn't think it means much and just uses it as an example (I've heard him say as much).
I gotta tell you, this is the double standard I was talking about a couple pages back. People who claim to be standing up for not judging the female form and wanting women to be more than their bodies slamming skinny girls and labelling them "unhealthy". I gotta tell you this behaviour and talk is hard to hear...it causes damage.
For example, I was what you might call underweight before the baby. Now you know that my diet is beyond reproach, it has to be because my health goes down the tubes if it isn't. Now, my mother is a very curvy woman, she's around 5'2 and a size 16. My father likes this. My mother has issues with her body and isn't alway okay with it. Because of this, my father is always saying that any woman below about a size 10 on TV looks like a stick figure, is anorexic and isn't a "real" woman. Now, I know part of this is designed to make my mother feel better but for me...I used to sit there and think, I guess my Dad thinks I'm anorexic, not a "real" woman and a stick figure. It was a bit hard. To make it worse, now that I've had the baby and have gone up from a 2/4 to a 6/8 they all tell me that now I look like a real woman and I shouldn't dare loose any more weight. Well, so much for it's my body and I love you, think you're beautiful no matter what weight you are.
I lived my life around dancers and actors who must keep trim and eat well to work. Some abuse this, even I have the occasional flare up of old eating disorder scripts in my head but not all do. I'd actually say the majority of thin dancers, performers I know are not anorexic...they either work their asses off (like I have to because it doesn't come natural to me) or are naturally (those lucky ladies) pretty/thin.
Sapphire - posted on 12/29/2010
I'm making a pot of meatballs for dinner. That should fatten Barbie up. Oh...wait she's a DOLL and can't eat. I bet she would like my meatballs if she were real life, but then again she would binge and purge them, cause that's what Barbie does. She makes 7 year olds bulimic.
Sherri - posted on 12/29/2010
Okay even a better example of underweight is my friends daughter is 5'6" tall she is just under 90lbs. She joined the US Marines at 17 and went into boot camp at 18. She was not officially allowed to become a marine until she got a waiver that she was just a naturally petite girl from her pediatrician. He verified she had been small her entire life. She was then put on double rations every meal for her entire boot camp and graduated 5lbs lighter then when she signed up. They waived the weight requirement for her as it was evident it was just her body and not that she was purposely underweight or not eating properly. She is now serving our country and will be deploying to afghanistan in a few weeks. She is the picture of health and honestly will always be underweight it is simply her body.
Liz - posted on 12/29/2010
Julianne- I am having a really hard time grasping how a doll can be such an influence on self image. And yes you have said offensive things at this point, my son is underweight, I am considered underweight but not unhealthy. And barbie has nothing to do with me being skinny, I think its important to show my children how to stay healthy with a balanced diet and exercise. When you put those together and keep your metabolism going it makes for a healthy person. I have a medium frame and should weight 120 pounds according to a chart instead I weigh 107 pounds as of this morning.
The doll has been redesigned to go with a more modern shape because when Barbie was created that was how women dressed and looked. As I said before the image of the tiny waste influenced Barbies design because that was the style in the 50's. Girdles and corsets have been around a lot longer then Barbie.
Jodi - posted on 12/29/2010
Just to show how even the health professionals don't take a BMI as gospel, here is an excerpt from the letter I received following my daughter's screening:
"Today nurses from ACT Health conducted a health screen on your child in Kindergarten. As part of the screen your child's height and weight was measured.
Your child's weight was found to be low for their height and age.
Please note that this is a screening tool only and cannot determine if your child is below their most healthy weight. The best person to evaluate your child's health and weight status is their family doctor."
That's right, a screening tool. It isn't THE be all and end all. I was considered healthy with a BMI of 17. Because that was an individual assessment. My daughter's doctors considers her weight to be healthy for her. Barbie only looks unhealthy to you because you have found a BMI of 16 for her. But the truth of the matter is that if she were to visit her family doctor, with her lifestyle (seen in the movies) and her natural body shape (genetically blessed) she would probably be assessed as being a healthy weight for HER. Personally, if I glance at Barbie, she doesn't look unhealthy at all. Just thin (with a tiny waist and a great rack).
BMI is not a tool to determine whether someone is unhealthy. It is actually a tool that is used to identify *potential* health problems. BMI doesn't take into account age (you tend to get a little more body fat as you get older, especially women, children less so), bone density, and so on. However, deciding that someone (or a doll) is anorexic because they have a BMI of 16 is your personal judgement. I wouldn't automatically come to that conclusion because it isn't necessarily the truth. The truth can't be determined by BMI - BMI is a springboard for identifying potential other problems. A BMI of 17 is simply an alert for a health professional to question other areas of a person's lifestyle to ensure there are not health implications.
Jessica - posted on 12/29/2010
lol BMI is a joke! My BMI when I was pregnant said I was obese...OBESE! I have some padding but i'm healthy and far from obese, but since the BMI said I was they told me how unhealthy and how many problems I should have and such and sent me for every test imaginable. Turns out that I am extremely healthy and passed every test with flying colors...I actually think it pissed that doctor off cause she was all into telling me how I should diet while pregnant and such.. I said hell no, I eat healthy, excersise and take care of myself, and couldn't care less what a BMI says, completely inaccurate tool to use.
Barbie on the other hand is a doll...she also does not go by the BMI scale, lol we are still talking about a doll right??
"just want barbie to have an average size waist. Why cant her waist be normal?" ~ Julianne
Who defines what normal is? Average sized is the best anyone can possibly do for 'normal' because there is no normal when talking about body sizes.
I'm like Jodi, I was a skinny child and was technically underweight, however I was not unhealthy, I ate a reasonably healthy diet and exercised reguarly, I just could not physically put on weight (good metabolism - my doctor was not concerned as I come from a skinny family). People regularly thought I was anorexic and often argued with me that I did not eat (I loved food - and still do) because I was so skinny - I am a classic hourglass figure and have always been tall. It is rude to assume that just because someone is underweight they are unhealthy in the same way it is rude to assume someone who is overweight is unhealthy - my dad is technically overweight because he is a body builder and so has much more muscle than most people - he is over his BMI due to this. BMI is not always a fair judge of healthiness people can naturally fall under or over it, it is much less healthy for these people to try and make themselves fit into the 'acceptable' BMI range because naturally their body is not designed that way!
Onto Barbie - I had Barbies as a child and found that I just wanted her beautiful sparkly clothes (I know - my taste has improved honest). Her body never concerned me. I agree with the ladies who are saying that Barbie is neither a positive or a negative role model, she is a doll and so is only what YOU (general you) make of her. I don't think she has any profound negative effects on most young girls but of course there will always be the exception to the rule. I feel the media and celebrity has a much larger effect on girls self esteem than Barbie ever will.
Tara - posted on 12/29/2010
Two of my daughters are considered to be underweight for their age. But as others have stated, underweight does not equal unhealthy. My 10 year old daughter is in the 85th percentile for height and the 5th for weight, she is the healthiest of all of my kids. My son just turned 1 he is a whopping 17 pounds, again considered to be underweight, but again fine.
I am five feet and weigh a whopping 110 lbs when not nursing and/or pregnant, and have weighed less and still been healthy.
My best friend is 6 feet tall, she weighs 112 pounds, has very thin bones and is very slim, and yet runs marathons and works as a swim instructor.
Have you ever heard of body type and bone density?
I have another friend who also runs marathons and works as a dance instructor, she weighs 145 and is 6 feet tall, she is also very healthy and athletic. Two different people, same height, different builds, different muscle mass, different weights.
Underweight is not always unhealthy.
And Barbie is not underweight nor is she unhealthy, she is plastic and not a scale model.
Jodi - posted on 12/29/2010
No Julianne, I have actually enjoyed this thread and what you have had to say, despite not agreeing with it. None of what you have said has pissed me off, except calling a doll anorexic simply because she looks underweight. It is insulting to people who ARE naturally thin. Thin people are NOT anorexic. Neither are they necessarily unhealthy.
You're are so dangerously close to violating THUMPS right nw (IMO) because I am EXTREMELY offended by what you are saying about me. I know I was healthy, my parents know I was healthy. I could care less if YOU think I was unhealthy... AND ONCE AGAIN, I fail to see how this relates to the topic of BARBIE...
Besides, this is all the PAST. I can't change it, nor would I want to...
she was an unhealthy weight, regardless how you want to say it. it was still underweight. i'm a tiny person, but im not underweight.
being underweight and overweight is the same thing just opposite ends of the spectrum. They still come with a handful of medical issues you are more likely to get, and its stress on your body. Society is just ok with people being underweight is the difference.
Jodi - posted on 12/29/2010
"Being underweight, is not healthy, no matter how you try to dress it up. Your body needs a certian amount of fat.:
Bullshit. I used to be underweight. It was just who I was. I come from a family that is very fine boned and slim. When I finished high school I had a BMI of about 17 and I was perfectly healthy. Underweight doesn't mean unhealthy. And I am going to be blatantly honest here. It used to fucking SHIT me when someone called me anorexic when I was a teenager. It was annoying because I wasn't anorexic. I just had an extremely high metabolism and fine bones. There was NOTHING unhealthy about me. So it is actually pissing me off that you are calling a doll anorexic because you are simply projecting YOUR ideals on that doll. The same way people project THEIR ideals on me when I was younger, even though it was total bullshit.
And guess what? My daughter has my build (well, the build I used to have before children). Yep, she had her health check recently and she has a very low BMI for a child of her age. BMI is bullshit. She has ALWAYS been in the 5th percentile for her weight (but 30th for height) which puts her at underweight too. But she is one of the healthiest kids I know. If you saw her you would just see that she has very fine bone structure (and long skinny legs).
So stop with the "Underweight is unhealthy" bullshit. In some people it may be unhealthy. But some people are just naturally very thin, and it is normal.
She wasn't unhealthy though. She ate healthily, she exercised, but she was just skinny. Some people are like that, damn them! lol. Some people are naturally tiny like that. I have a niece that is like that but she's not unhealthy. She looks like a little toothpick but she does eat. She eats pretty healthy for an 8-year-old child. She's just one of them tiny people.
Really? Do you want a breakdown of my weekly schedule back then? I had it all planned out so I was never stressed for time (I can't remember ever saying I was stressed for time, just that I was very busy). I was in the car a lot going back and forth to school, work and dance and yes, I was tempted by McDonald's regularly, BUT I ate healthy at home (often because I made my own meals since my whole family had fairly different weekday schedules) and I worked out on a very reguar basis, so I felt some McDonald's once or twice a week was no big deal. Honestly, I was more tempted by the local coffee shop's mochas (NOT Starbucks - bleh)... I also always kept a bag of soynuts (my snack of choice) in my car so I could eat healthy on the go as well.
BUT, as I said twice now, MY past lifestyle is not for debate here, so I fail to see how hashing it out over and over and over again will add anything to the debate...
(p.s. Sorry about any missing "o"s in my posts... the button seems to be sticking and not always typing it...)
Sarah - posted on 12/29/2010
I don't think what Holly described was unhealthy.
I don't think many people can hand on heart say they live and eat the "perfect" way.
No-one is perfect, that's kinda the whole point of the thread isn't it? That we should celebrate differences.
As long as you promoting a healthy lifestyle to your child, that's the main thing, but it's also good for them to know that the odd treat or McDonalds isn't the end of the world!
Oh, and I could care less what my target weight *should* be. I think my target weight should be what I want it to be and what makes me feel good...
BUT, as I said before, my past lifestyle is not the subject of debate here... Thanks for trying to educate me, but I really could honestly care less...
Lovely... so now I was unhealthy even though my doctor said I was doing great... Hmmm... I guess I'll have to tell my parents they did a horrible job in raising me and letting me lead an unhealthy lifestyle... Craptastic... (sarcasm there!)
I really fail to see how I was unhealthy, but whatever, that's not the purpose of this thread... But thanks for telling me that I was unhealthy at a time in my life when I felt the best both physicially and emotionally...
holly, you just said how you were not unhealthy then described a very unhealthy lifestyle. Just because you exercise does not make you healthy. Being underweight, is not healthy, no matter how you try to dress it up. Your body needs a certian amount of fat. so if i was overweight and saw myself as healthy then i would be an ok weight?? no it doesnt work that way. just because you were ok with your unhealthily skinny body, doesn't make it ok.
be glad you put on weight, it was needed. your average size now....
Brenda - posted on 12/29/2010
I've never heard she would be 6 ft tall and 100 lbs. I've always heard she would have very unrealistic proportions but she's a DOLL! What 5 yr old w/out any other negative influence about her weight would really be concerned? I always loved Barbie and wanted to be her b/c she was pretty, had a lot of stuff, and could do whatever she wanted not b/c she was superskinny but b/c she had a convertible and could go to the mall w/out worrying about parent supervision or money. She is what you make her. And speaking as someone who struglled w/anorexia in middle school, Barbie in no way influenced that but rather the superskinny models and celebrities who are put up on a pedestal and rolemodel bad behavior for girls.
I brought my daughter her 1st barbie for her birthday last birthday, 2 months ago. Do i regret it? Hell no. My daughter is 4 and i can tell you now that the only thing she really noticed about Barbie is her hair style. She noticed nothing else.
I'm with the other ladies who think she is ok. I have seen some of the barbie movies and i like them, I have never seen her talk about her body or anything liek it she is all about what she does and how she is a strong person.
It's how us parents talk about her that will teach our children what she is all about.
I know I was considered underweight, but I wasn't unhealthy. I danced every single day of the week AND I taught dance classes 3 nights a week AND I was always running around to go to school (30 minutes away from home) AND working part time (in my hometown) AND going to night school at the college campus near my dance studio. I ate what I could and when I could, which meant it wasn't always super healthy (though I tried to eat healthy foods, but those golden arches were so tempting so many times! lol). I was active and I worked hard to excel in everything I did. I ate when I was hungry and I stopped eating when I was full - as people should do. I also have very good genetics when it comes to metabolism. Since having kids (and moving away from my hometown so I can't take dance any more) of course I have gained weight and I struggle to get it off, but I was in no way unhealthy before, just as I am not unhealthy now that I am 160 pounds and have a bit of a tummy still.
I think whether you're healthy or unhealthy doesn't depend on your weight, but how YOU (general you) percieve it. Of course I wish I was super skinny again, but do I think it's going to happen right now? Of course not. Does that mean I need to bitch a moan about my weight when my daughters can hear? Of course not. When it comes down to it, what PARENTS teach their children about body image should have more impact on the child than what some stupid doll looks like and if a child is looking at a doll as a role model more than their parent... well, that's just sad IMHO...
I know a number of women who are that tall AND that skinny. They are all in no way unhealthy, they just take care of their bodies and make sure they eat healthy as opposed to gobbling junk food. They are also all blessed with great metabolisms. Like I said in an earlier post, I am 5'9" and I used to be only 120 lbs with a body fat index of 2 - was I unhealthy? No way! I just took care of myself and so do the women I know who are taller and skinnier. As I type this, I am watching Barbie surf in one of her movies and I must say that yes, she's is super skinny (and I do think her bathing suit is a bit small, but hey, she's 16 in the movie and if I had those curves I would flaunt them too! lol), but she works hard and it's super plausible that she would be that skinny if the movie was real life.
Do my daughters notice that Barbie is ultra skinny with big boobs? Nope. They notice that she does good things for others and the environment (in the movies) and they notice that she's fun to play with (on the rare occasion that they do play with one of the few dolls we have - they actually prefer books and blocks to dolls lately).
Tara - posted on 12/29/2010
What are perfect proportions anyway?
Isn't the whole idea of not having a perfect doll such as Barbie is made out to be by those against her, as bad as saying a different figure is the perfect one?
Honestly, they are dolls.
Strawberry Shortcake would be a very strange looking human, her head is huge and her face is so flat, I don't think she would be able to breathe through her nose at all. And her waist is so small, omg, that poor thing, everything she eats must go to her head.
Jenn - posted on 12/29/2010
No you don't - I have a couple of relatives who are that skinny and tall as well as Brian's step-Mom. Some people really are built like that. And if you're going to keep using that argument than why not figure out the ratios of some other dolls. How big would Holly Hobby be if she were real? What about Strawberry Shortcake? How would she stand - her head is so freakin' huge?!? Come on - they are dolls and are not meant to be real. If you think it's such a problem why don't you go design a real doll that is in perfect human proportions - you could strike it rich!
Tara - posted on 12/29/2010
You keep saying that but where did you find her measurements? How do you know what her bone density is? Or her muscle mass?, that chicks got some wicked thighs and calves, The fact remains that she is a doll.
She is whatever your child wants her to be. So if little Susie sees her mom binge and then stick a tooth brush down her throat to purge, then maybe Barbie would be hugging the porcelain during play. Or if little Anna watches or hears mom say things like "UGH I wish I were 100 lbs and 6 feet tall" of " Jebus I wish I had a rack like Barbie." then yeah that could be bad...
btw, I bet you could ask 500 barbie playing girls what size they think Barbie would be if she were real, and they wouldn't have a freaking clue.
lol@Jenn, I wanted to say something similar but couldn't find a way to word it right. thank you.
Having fat dolls could be seen as just as dangerous to young minds as having thin dolls. It could perpetuate the idea that being obese is okay and healthy...
Honestly, they are just playthings.
And I know we are not going to change your mind Julianne we're just pointing out that there is no proof that Barbie damages young girls minds OR that she is anorexic/bulimic, a heroin addict (my own addition to her potential careers as a bad role model) or a stripper or lady of the night (another one of my own). She is a fashion forward doll with great hair and a positive attitude. That's all it is, unless you as a parent make it out to be more than that, for good or for bad.
Petra - posted on 12/29/2010
Dude, my sister-in-law is close to 6 ft and just over 100 pounds. Not anorexic. Not sickly. Just tall and slim and small-boned. Also, a beautiful ex-model. Nothing to frown at there, just good genes.
Barbie is not life sized and I have no clue why you feel the need to repeat over and over that she must be anorexic because in real life, blah blah blah. She is not, and never will be, real. And yes, you were going on about proof 6 or 7 pages back.
Petra - posted on 12/29/2010
Julianne, you keep citing the "proof" provided by the artical and accusing Barbie of being an anorexic stipper. The article concluded that their results "implied" that there "may" be a correlation between exposure to Barbie and the later-in-life development of low self-esteem and eating disorders. They basically acknowledged that they didn't prove shit, but worded it to suggest that they did. Read between the lines. Further, Barbie is a doll. She is neither anorexic, nor a stripper, unless the child playing with her decides that she is. Your attitude towards Barbie could very well encourage these kinds of ideas in your child. Chill out. Barbie could possibly contribute to these problems that kids (who are already troubled by these issues) have, but that is where parental influence comes in. Be a healthy role model, encourage healthy play and nix the exposure to the Olsen twins, who are living, breathing role models AND anorexic (yeah, only one of them, but still). There aren't very many children's toys that depict realistic human characteristics. Barbie is simply one of many. Exposure to her is not going to doom your child to a lifelong battle with anorexia. You can't convince people of this based on a flawed study and a report that uses obviously misleading diction.
But Barbie IS NOT anorexic! I will ask again, have you seen the movies? In all the movies she eats just like a normal person, she's just super athletic and takes care of herself! What's wrong with that?!?! Before I had kids I was a size 6 and 120 pounds. I danced over 10 hours per week and I had a very busy and active lifestyle. Some people thought I was unhealthy (I had a body fat index of 2), but I was just active and had a good metabloism.
Maybe Barbie's the same. I just bet she's genetically blessed with a great metabolism and she's certainly very active and healthy in all her movies...
sherri- i didnt post this to ignore what people post. I am reading everything, i just didnt change my own mind. Second, its a debate, thats what im doing, debating the issue. I'm not one to just bring up an issue and sit around discuss the same one side of the topic and think its a debate.
Tara, it wouldn't be a big deal if she wasn't anorexic. I have stated that i know she has a lot of really good qualities young girls should be exposed to. I just think they should make her a healthy size. She may not be a representation of a real human being, little girls may give her a real life persona and look up to this persona, wanting to be just like her. I think it would make a huge difference in self esteem with girls who have no strong female role-models in their lives and use barbie for that.
I also would never badmouth anything my daughter was interested in, no matter what my view on it.
Mrs. - posted on 12/29/2010
I did some searching on the new waist size...didn't really get a solid number, somewhere between 18-23. Now, I actually know some petite women who have smaller waists 23/24ish. Myself, before I had a baby had somewhere between 25/26. Now that I've had the baby I'm more like a 26/27. As far as dolls go, since they are like cartoons...not meant to be real...it's not bad. I would consider a petite woman with a the waist size mentioned before to be within healthy range...there are many who are, who aren't even dancers or actors, just normal moms with healthy figures.
It's probably a moot point because I don't think the doll itself has influence alone. But, you've brought it up so I thought I'd address it.
When I think about a 16 inch waist I always think of Scarlett O'Hara after she's had her baby swearing off sex because she want to fit back into her 16 inch waisted dresses...she had grown to..gasp..a whole 17 inches pre-pregnancy.
Tara - posted on 12/29/2010
Why is her waist size so important? Would it truly matter to you if Mattel added an 1/8 of an inch to her waist? Cause unless you made her straight up and down, there isn't a lot of wiggle room. She is not a representation of a true human being, so what? She is also not a tiny stripper, that to me says you don't know much about Barbie today. As Holly just pointed out, she is empowering girls to be themselves. And for me the creative play that Barbie encourages is excellent learning when it comes to conflict resolution etc.
I hope if your daughter does ask for one, and you get her one as you said, I just hope you don't tell her first how awful they are, or go overboard on why you don't like Barbie. That will only cause her to question her own body, it's like anything, the more we protest it as parents, the more illusive and desirable it appears to our children.
btw, my post was meant as encouraging. Because there are things about you that remind me of myself when I was younger not everything just some things and I was just trying to tell you that it's more about you, and I know that you are raising her to be a lateral thinker and that's good, but also trying to say not to be too rigid in one thing for too long, it's stunts our growth as parents if we can't reevaluate how we think about some things... sorry if that was disjointed etc. but I"m typing with a baby nursing on my lap and so can't fix things as easily with one hand.
I hneslty doubt yu've seen any of the Barbie movies Julianne. They're all about self empowerment and being the most important person in the world - yourself. It's great and I LOVE being able to give my daughters that idea in one of their role models. They know people aren't all skinny and perfect (heck, I'm still working on those last 30 pounds!), but they really don't care that Barbie is.
Now, before going off on me about "but that is YOUR opinion!" and such, let me say that I know that. BUT how else do you expect people to make their point? Obviously a valid study has never been done, so opinions are all we have at this stage. I CAN tell you that my mom ran an in-home daycare and we all played with Barbies and NONE of those little girls got body issues (well, ne did, but she lived with a single mom who always bitched about how all men were scum and fat women just couldn't get ahead in life because of scummy men - you guessed it, the mom was larger than some women. I wouldn't call her fat, but yes, she was large). I can also tell you that my MIL has been working in the daycare business for over 30 years and has never heard of any children developing bad body issues because of Barbie. I told her about this "debate" and her first reaction was "well that's ridiculous!" I've taught many dance classes and been involved with a lot of the young women in the dance studio my mom owns and runs. NONE of those young ladies (in a demographic with a very large number of anerexia issue) have ever had bad body issues, and certainly none of them ever aspired to look like Barbie.
I think (yes, that opinion again, so sue me...) that MY kids (I can't speak for other kids obviously) look more at how Barbie ACTS, not how she LOOKS. I buy them the Barbie movies (the newest one is playing right now and I'm rocking out to the music! lol) and I will continue to do so as long as they are interested.
Tara, I'm well aware that my daughter is going to learn from me, what i choose to do with her is going to have a major impact on who she is when she is an adult. I am just saying some girls develop issues because of images like, barbie, celebs and supermodels. I could do everything possible to ensure she has a high self esteem, and outside influences could persuade her to think differently. No mater what i do as a mom, theres always a chance it wont matter and she will do the exact opposite of what i teach. I dont like barbie, she has lots of other toys, if when shes older she asks for one, i probably will get it for her, not until then though. I just want barbie to have an average size waist. Why cant her waist be normal?
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