Barbie as a Real Person Has Freakiest Boobs & Waist Ever


barbieWhen we were little girls, most of us had at least two major female role models: Our moms and our Barbie doll. And although we end up growing up to look much more like our mothers, our grandmothers, or our aunts, there's something about Barbie -- in all of her hot pink glossy blonde glory -- that somehow manages to make a greater impression on our psyche.

Even if it's way way way in the back of our heads, as adult women, we still believe that tall, thin, blonde, and busty is the beauty ideal. Hey, maybe it's because the fashion, media, entertainment worlds buy into that ideal more times than not. (Not all the time, but often.) That belief can manifest in our lives in a bevy of ways -- from lamenting the occasional fat day or frequent fat talk to full-on eating disorders.

Recognizing this, one young woman named Galia Slayen decided to face her "Barbie issues" head-on ...

Having struggled with anorexia as a teen, the now college sophomore built a real-life Barbie to illustrate the warped, negative body image the doll promotes. Slayen explained:

I dressed Barbie in my old clothes. The skirt she still has on today is a reminder of who I once was. That skirt, a size double zero, used to slip off my waist when I was struggling with anorexia. I put it on Barbie to serve as a reminder that the way Barbie looks, the way I once looked, is not healthy and is not "normal," whatever normal might mean.

Joining with the National Eating Disorders Association, Slayen is spreading awareness about the scary reality behind taking Barbie too seriously. We've all heard that given her measurements, Barbie would have to walk on all fours, but here are some other "Get Real Barbie" stats the NEDA shares that I found particularly startling:

• A girl usually has her first Barbie by age 3, and collects a total of seven dolls during her childhood.

• At 5'9" tall and weighing 110 pounds, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia. She likely would not menstruate.

• Slumber Party Barbie was introduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 pounds and a book entitled How to Lose Weight with directions inside stating simply: "Don't eat."

This info doesn't make me feel like if I have a daughter one day, I'd never allow her to have a Barbie. And I don't believe having one results in battling an eating disorder. But I do think it's interesting to recognize the conscious or subconscious impact the doll has or had on most American women's body image at some point in time. Because if one stinkin' plastic doll can haunt us all the way into adulthood, it can't hurt to have a reality check like the one Slayen is offering.

What do you think about Slayen's real-life Barbie? Do you think the doll promotes a negative body image for women?


Image via Richard Newton/Flickr

body image, eating healthy, weight loss, self esteem, eating disorders, emotional health


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poshkat poshkat

i wish people would leave barbie alone. yeah so shes tall thin and blond, but she has also been a doctor, a vet, a teacher, a stewardess, a mom, and many many more things. people should focus on the positive not the negative. why don't people look at those horrible bratz dolls, they are so much worse than barbie, and they don't do anything positive, even their names are stupid.

Water... Water_geM

Barbie has changed,she now has a stomach liek britney spears,as where retro barbie looks like a pinup.

i LOVE barbie.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

I don't think Barbie is the problem; most girls do not think of Barbies as being the ideal model. My friends and I had tons of them as kids, but never once did we think we could actually look like that. Barbie wasn't real. Neither was Ken, illustrated very well by the fact that his legs splayed out and we couldn't fit him into our Barbie cars. We never thought "Wow, I want to look like her one day." What DID makes us worry about our weight was our relatives telling us we'd gotten a little pudgy, or Mom and Dad saying they needed to lose weight, or the headlines on TV that screamed "110 lbs. is the new 150!" A healthy perspective on weight and body image comes from the child's environment, not a toy. It is not Mattell's fault; a proportionate Barbie simply would not sell.

littl... littleflower101

I have thought about this a lot. I really dont think Barbie is the problem...I absolutely loved Barbie as a little girl and still collected them through my teen years.  I also played with other dolls, in all shapes and sizes. I never aspired to look like Barbie or any of my dolls.  I think the problem is much bigger than a is our culture, our infatuation with the perfect celebrity body,  People's "Most Beautiful People,"   magazine photoshopping, and moms not modeling healthy behaviors.  We as moms need to show our girls through our lives what it means to be a beautiful, healthy woman.  

sarahAl sarahAl

Its a doll. Anyone who actually thinks that a doll can be a role model...the thought of that is so bizzare in my mind that I can't even finish that sentance. At least Barbie has womanly curves. Bratz (NEVER in my house) dolls look like the aneroxic H'wood lollipops from the late 90's early 2000's.

I had tons of barbies growing up. My daughter (5) has quite a collection herself. I have stood silent outside her bedroom door while she plays barbie and I have never ever thought 'omg I need to take those away from her!' The storylines she comes up with are amazing and some are pretty complex. She honestly has  little soap operas going on, minus the sex, lies, debauchery, etc. I praise her imagination and the fact that she can play for hours on end without needing to watch TV.

The blame needs to be put on the parents who don't become the role model for their children. I think if a young girl feels the need to compare herself to a DOLL, then she's got some more serious underlying issues at hand.

ilove... ilovemyboys84

im glad i have boys lol but growing up i never wanted to be like barbie...i wanted to be like my grandmom lol now im regretting it since im short like her!

kaylaird kaylaird

I'm in complete agreeance (is that a word?) with PonyChaser. I will ALWAYS stand up for Barbie. People who blame Barbie for self image issues need to re-evaluate themselves. Barbie is a DOLL. I don't know of many teens who wish they had a body like Barbie, and I don't know of any children who even notice her body type.

What a load.

Jenny... JennyG0929

I never felt or thought I needed to look like Barbie.

Magazines, TV and movies and pop singers are tje ones sending out messages that are unhealthy

LadyC... LadyCNote

It's a tough call honestly.  For a long time I was completely against Barbie dolls,  mostly because I was jealous that she had freakin' everything, but now there are Bratz dolls.  In case someone  hasn't seen these they are cartoony looking dolls that look like they need to be slapped in the face.  They are the epitome of stuck up, snobby teeny girls.  

To me Barbie has been around for so long she is an icon in our society.  Bratz...not so much.   

onecu... onecuteladybug2

Wow at the booklet that came with Sleepover Barbie!

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