Thursday, May 27, 2010

Go away, Barbie!

"The positioning from the very first commercial was that she
was a person. We never mentioned that she was a doll"
on the marketing of Barbie

This is probably a post my mother will roll her eyes at. Not because she can't see the hidden messages behind Barbie's appearance, but more so because she has a lot of great memories with this doll and more than likely thinks I'm making too big of a deal about this. Mom -- love you and your memories... this just happends to be a reflection of my memories on this unrealistic, superficial and basically a feminists worst nightmare of a doll. Yes, Barbie is a doll, she is not a real person.

First, I remember being in elementary school and our gym class was talking about healthy bodies and Barbie's name came up. I am still inspired by a girl sitting next to me who stood up and shouted about how her body was unrealistic, and that it would be impossible for most of us to look the way that Barbie does. She had lots of Barbie's.... like every Barbie imaginable, yet she was still able to see the pedistal Barbie sits on, which very few of us can really reach. No matter how hard we try.

I think it was middle school when I really starting focusing on my weight. I was dating a guy at the time who used to make fun of me and basically the relationship was a nightmare. I still think about some of the things he said to me, even today. As silly as it may sound, I used to look at Barbie and think Why am I not that pretty. I envied her small thighs and tiny waist, and thought about her figure before nearly every bite of food I consumed. Maybe this is extreme. Maybe most girls don't do this. But I bet many young girls have some one they look up to and try to mimick -- especially with their bodies. It's not all Barbie's fault, the media is mostly to blame, but in my opinion -- Barbie is not at all innocent when it comes to young girls and eating disorders.

As much of a pedistal as I put Barbie on, I remember shaving her head and making my own Lesbian Barbies. I also remember abusing her and pulling off body parts -- which is further explained in a study that the article below talks about. Apparently a lot of little girls abuse their Barbie's. I think I was frustrated in how unrealistic she was altogether, and how she is sometimes noted as the "ideal woman."

Just look at Heidi Montag... she credits most of her plastic surgery to wanting to look like Barbie. Even as an adult, many of us still compare ourselves to this doll.

I am so very against my children growing up and playing with Barbie Doll's, and this has a lot to do with the impact it had on my own self-esteem and love {or lack there of} for my body. Is this really fair? To deprive my children of a doll that is more famous than Madonna? I'm not sure. But what I do know is this: Barbie is created to be a sex symbol. Let's face it -- how many of our brother's stole our naked Barbie's and got their first view of the female body while hiding away in their rooms. It's no wonder so many guys love blondes with big boobs and a tiny waist.

I'm not trying to make skinny blondes feel bad about themselves in any way. Please understand that first and foremost. What I am saying is this: Barbie does not reflect the majority of women and their bodies in this country. She is underweight, totally obsessed with cute outfits, and above all - disposable.

This is not the picture that I want to portray to my children. So as long as I have a say in it, they will not grow up playing with Barbie Dolls -- they will grow up knowing that their bodies are just as they should be, and they don't need an eating disorder to get a man to love them. That is the number one thing I want to teach them. And also myself. That the size of your clothes does not equally measure the size of your heart and of your unique and beautiful spirit.

Today I challenge you to join me on this journey of loving our bodies. Fat, curvey, skinny... all of us have value and all of us are worth loving.

Read this article which debates Barbie's roll as either a Dumb Blonde or a Diehard Feminist.

Which side are you on?


  1. what bothers me most about Barbie is that i now realize she is NOT the epitome of womanly beauty. now almost 25 years old, i realize i don't think she's beautiful at all. not only is she all around fake, she's boring. she doesn't have any features that would make her stand out in a crowd –well ok, besides her abnormally shaped figure. Did you know that if Barbie was a real human being as far as measurements are concerned, she would be unable to even stand up?

    Coming from the MALE creators of Barbie… What they believe a woman SHOULD look like. The fact that she stands for what the male population has thought for so long to be beautiful makes me angry, too. Woman go to extremes for men to find them attractive, to be wanted, to be loved. I’m glad that these type of men are less and less, every day. Men are starting be less attracted to the cookie cutter type and starting to admire what’s really there .. on the inside.

    I think if your children did want to play with Barbie, I know you will be wary about it at first, but you will be sure to tell them that Barbie isn’t what epitomizes beauty – that beauty is found within. That your unique qualities are what set you apart in this world. And that Barbie is your enemy.

    Lush you, Kara!

  2. Barbie dresses like shit too.


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