Can A Fat Barbie Teach Healthy Lifestyles?

fast food, obesityYou have to see this one to believe it.

Imagine a fat Barbie doll, sprawled out, double chin and all, in an advertisement. Well it really exists, but the ad is more like a Public Service Announcement.


Created by an organization called the Active Life Movement for Texas-based LatinWorks, the idea is to teach kids about the perils of obesity. But writer Hanna Tennant-Moore makes a great point: Did Skinny Barbie ever really encourage healthy body images and lifestyles?

LatinWorks mission is important—to encourage kids to be active and healthy—but it's questionable whether or not this ad campaign is really serving that goal. The ad's tag line is “Keep obesity away from your child.” Tennant-Moore suggests that this makes it sound as if being overweight is a contagious disease. I have to agree. No one wants an unhealthy child, but "keep obesity away" sure is awkward wording. Obesity isn't exactly the measles.

I'll admit, the imagery of a fat Barbie is definitely startling, but I could see it being offensive too.

What do you think about this ad campaign? Should organizations do whatever it takes to keep kids from getting fat? Where should they draw the line?

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