When I was a kid, I had one Barbie doll. She was a redhead and had a tanned skin – so not your typical blond Barbie – but she still had the same weird body – big boobs, a tiny waist, no hips, ridiculously long legs and tiny feet. I didn’t like my Barbie very much, and soon after I received her, I gave her a short haircut, and shortly after that, I threw her away. I was a chubby little girl, and I don’t know if my objection to Barbie was because of her ridiculous proportions – I just know that I disliked her.
This morning, I came across the above picture on Facebook and thought that it was amazing to see the difference between the classic Barbie doll, and a realistic Barbie doll made by researcher and artist Nickolay Lamm. The realistic Barbie doll was created using the measurements of an average 19 year old woman. I actually find the realistic Barbie figure very attractive – feminine and curvy without being overweight. And unlike the classic Barbie doll, the realistic Barbie’s physique is quite attainable.
To answer the question posted in the original blog post, yes, I do believe that young girl are influenced by the unrealistic images they see in the media and by playing with unrealistically-figured dolls such as Barbie. I also believe that these early influences can shape a woman’s body image for life. My girls are older now, but back when they were little, had I had the choice, I would have certainly preferred the realistic Barbie over the grotesque one.