And life sized? The answer, my friends, is terrifying.
We all know that Barbie does not resemble a real woman, but its easy to forget given her doll-size just how CRAZY her proportions are. Take a look at this model of life-sized Barbie created by a young woman who recovered from anorexia.
Disturbing isn’t it? The life-size Barbie is grotesque and ridiculous. She looks like a 100 times more extreme version of Jordan. That’s how crazy it is – not even Jordan looks like this! I would venture that it would not be possible for a real live human being to look like this.
And this is what our kids are playing with. Kids see Barbie (and all the other dolls) as role models. And there’s such a terrifying lack of variety in those role models that the message they get is that white/blonde/blue-eyed/stick thin and pretty is normal. Its whats pretty.
Look at this. How much variety is there here? Is any one of these a positive role model for kids? (Okay the actual ‘baby’ dolls look more or less like actual babies – and damned ugly too – but the message of these is Be a mommy just like the message of all the others is Be beautiful, be the same, be stick thin).
There are ZERO dolls that I’m aware of available for children that actually resemble normal human beings. Barbie/Cindy (is she still around?), Disney princess dolls (puke) and the grossly inappropriate sexy little Bratz, of which the only good thing that can be said is that at least they showcase real ethnic diversity, unlike Barbie and the Disney Princesses – they’re your only options. And then even if you do get a doll with a hint of colour such as Jasmine above – she is still exactly the same as the other dolls – scary anorexic like arms that are the same width all the way up – and tight rock hard abs.
I don’t know if when I have a little girl who desperately wants a disney princess (or a happy meal for that matter) I’ll have the heart to say no. Its what all the little girls want after all. But I do know that self-esteem amongst young girls is lower than its ever been. I know that when I look at the pinkification and commercialisation of everything to do with young girls today, I despair. Things have changed so much in the two decades since I was this age. And I know that I want my daughters horizons to go further than barbie and princesses and fairies and pink everything, like mine did.
Image above from Pink Stinks. Check out Pink Stinks for more on what I mentioned re the pinkification of everything to do with little girls.