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Friday, December 27, 2013

Plus Size Barbie?



I finally managed to lift my head out of the piles of wrapping and ribbon and dishes today and read a little news.  Amazingly, the world has continued to revolve whilst I have been absorbed in family traditions and frivolity.  Whodathunk?

One particular bit of news, which has sparked a rather heated online debate, surrounds the posting of a plus-sized Barbie picture on the Facebook page of Plus-sized Modeling with the question "Should toy companies start making Plus Sized Barbie dolls?"  The Barbie doll image is quite chunky, with a triple chin.  The page asked people to 'like' the post if they say 'yes' to plus sized Barbie dolls and to comment if they say 'no.'  At the time of writing, over 40,000 people had 'liked' the post and there were only just over 2,700 comments.


Huh?

If people followed the directions, that means that over 40,000 people are okay with a mega-chubby Barbie and only a measly 2,700 are uncomfortable with the idea.

I guess I'm in the minority here.


Don't get me wrong, I am personally chubby myself.  I don't think people should ever be mocked or belittled for any size they happen to be, either by choice or otherwise.  I think that the most beautiful things about human beings are not found in the outer crusts.

But, despite my lifelong issue with generous girth, I think the pendulum on this issue has swung from one ridiculous end of the spectrum to the other.

The current Barbie is silly. . .I was never a fan as a child (I had a set of Sunshine Family dolls, complete with the cool yellow pickup and the traveling Craft Show set up.  Good times with my little hippy friends!!).  I mean, she is disproportionate. . .she has an unattainable figure and image. . .and she is just conveys an image to girls that is ridiculously unhealthy in my opinion.

Critics of Barbie's 'unhealthy image' want toy companies to be responsible in such matters and craft a doll that portrays a much more realistic and healthy image of body type to girls.

But how does bypassing a healthy weight and shape and heading toward a visibly obese image do that?  How is that any better?  How can over 40,000 people think it is?

Come back to the middle ground, people.  Barbie is unrealistic and, in my opinion, conveys a dangerous image to girls.  But an obese version is ultimately equally as dangerous.

So how about a healthy-weighted, normal-proportioned doll line. . .with pear shapes and apple shapes and curvy shapes and other shapes.  All healthy and happy and living their lives contentedly in their own skins. Stephie from the Sunshine Family would fit in fine with that group of girls.

And, despite my current size, I think I would, too.


2 comments:

  1. Sounds good to me. I love your level-headed response. I gave my daughters healthy-formed dolls to play with, too, but when a well-meaning relative bought them Barbies they started playing with the new dolls instead. Maybe we do need a cultural Barbie revolution!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some folks say that the dolls are innocuous, but I am not so sure. Their plastic-like, unrealistic shape, plus unending media and cultural bombardment (including print media's ridiculous use of PhotoShop!), PLUS dodgy peer pressue. . .well, I just don't like that math.

    So, I'm with you. . .Viva la Revolucion!! :)

    ReplyDelete

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