[dropcap2]I[/dropcap2]never owned a Barbie doll.
Not that I didn’t dearly desire one.
My parents, wanting to give me what I so deeply craved yet being budget minded, got me the less-pricey, generic-variety “Barbie”. Her name was “Mitzi”.
But let’s face it. She just didn’t have the panache, class, or sexiness of the original B-goddess.
Heck, she didn’t even come with a king-size closet, a car or even a Ken. So I spent my ‘tween years coveting my best friend Andrea’s ‘real’ Barbie collection while making do with Mitzi. Sigh.
All the same, I was just as influenced by the eye-popping proportions and magic of Barbie just as much as the next young girl.
Get this. if Barbie were a real person, she would stand six feet tall with a 39″ bust, 18″ waist, and 33″ hips.
And there’s no doubt in my mind that this very imagery launched a million (or more) eating disorders.
Or eating disturbances.
Or at the very least, some dysfunctional body self-images. This should require no explanation. Especially with just a split-second glance at the photograph above of Barbie, inflated to scale. Inflated, period.
So, what can we do to offset the damage of the Barbie culture, those of us who treasured the doll-playing experience and built the fantasy of our adult lives in those formative years?
1) Take a look at the photo above and forgive yourself for thinking you weren’t up to snuff because you didn’t look like Barbie. Awareness is the first step. I commend Galia Slayen (pictured with Barbie, above) for going to the trouble to have this life-size replica made because, without words, it says so darn much.
2) Rebirth your self- imagery. One of the cornerstones to body transformation is to create a vivid mental picture of your body ideal. What your personal best has the potential to be, to look like, and to embody energetically.
Without a makeover of how we see ourselves, if we are caught up in a weight problem or negative self image, if we don’t overhaul what we’ve been creating in our mind’s eye first, our efforts to transform to radiant health and a great body shape can just go to hell in a handbasket. But let’s base it on your real potential, your real personal best, the beauty and vitality within – not on an alien.
More “Get Real, Barbie” statistics:*
- There are two Barbie dolls sold every second in the world.
- The target market for Barbie doll sales is young girls ages 3-12 years of age.
- A girl usually has her first Barbie by age 3, and collects a total of seven dolls during her childhood.
- Over a billion dollars worth of Barbie dolls and accessories were sold in 1993, making this doll big business and one of the top 10 toys sold.
- If Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5’9″ tall, have a 39″ bust, an 18″ waist, 33″ hips and a size 3 shoe.
- Barbie calls this a “full figure” and likes her weight at 110 lbs.
- At 5’9″ tall and weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia. She likely would not menstruate.
- If Barbie was a real woman, she’d have to walk on all fours due to her proportions.
- Slumber Party Barbie was introduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs with a book entitled “How to Lose Weight” with directions inside stating simply “Don’t eat.” ~ Galia Slayen
You can find Slayen’s article and project description in its entirety on Huffington Post.
In January 2007, I was looking for a way to make my peers realize the importance of eating disorders and body image issues. I was frustrated after quitting the cheerleading squad, frustrated with pressures to look and act a certain way and most of all frustrated with the eating disorder controlling my life. Read more>>>