Real Life Barbie Doll – Michael Porfirio

Posted: March 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

I’m sure you have all seen the news about this “real life” Barbie Doll. Everyone has been sharing it on Facebook because it supposedly sends a good message to young girls who play with Barbie Dolls. I think the reason this is such a popular article to spread is because it’s a feel good message. It encourages the idea that women should not have to shape themselves to the unrealistic body image standards of a super skinny and proportionate Barbie Doll. Although the idea is good, the message seems a little skewed. First of all, there really shouldn’t be a “normal” body structure. Also, it shouldn’t be about what the Barbie looks like, it should be about what the Barbie represents. Here is an article that explains this really well:

  1. cs341blog says:

    This post really caught my attention, as it is a topic I discussed in a class in high school. I believe it has taken producers way too long to realize that Barbie is very unrealistic and a change needed to be made. However, I suppose this change is better late than never. Growing up girls have enough pressure put on them by the media to have the perfect body. That includes being thin with a small waist, large breasts, flawless skin and perfect hair. Little do these girls know that this is very unrealistic and a body type that many girls will never have. Hopefully the introduction of a normal size Barbie will encourage girls at a very young age to love their average body size. Attached is an article I found of all the reasons Barbie wouldn’t be able to live as a real life human being.

  2. cs341blog says:

    I agree with the idea that this has been so widely accepted because it is a ‘feel-good’ message. However, I think it could have negative effects also. This Barbie is being dubbed, the ‘normal’ Barbie. However, what about the girls that are a little overweight or girls that are a little bit taller than average. I think that this Barbie might send the message that if you do not look like this, you are not normal. Which may not seem like such a bad thing, but to a girl who is desperately trying to fit in, it might have very negative consequences. We have all come to know that the typical Barbie has unrealistic expectations. That has now become a given in our society, with numerous essays written about it and the ‘if real women had Barbie’s dimensions’ experiments. Please do not get me wrong; I think that this old version of Barbie has been proven to negatively influence little girls’ body image and that change is necessary. However, I think that this ‘normal’ Barbie might create just as many problems for the girls who are not average. So this got me thinking, what could be the alternative? Maybe, a whole line of Barbie’s so that every girl is represented? Would consumers buy a slightly overweight Barbie? I’m not sure, but I do think that it would be a positive message if every girl was in some way represented.

    Keltie Johnson

  3. Megan Ryes says:

    Don’t get me wrong, the idea of the new Barbie is noble. And even after I first read about it, my reaction was just like most people…that it was about time we had a doll that could represent someone more “real” or relatable. It is true that the Barbie dolls we grew up with have negative connotations attached to body image. But, I do agree with some points in the article as well. So the newest doll has the dimensions of a 19 year old American but why is that size called average? Yes, the guy behind this new “Lammily” has statistics to back him up. But there are still plenty of groups that this new Lammily still does not fit into. Our society is made up of so many different shapes and sizes and what we learn as children impact our values as we get older. So why does this doll define that. Just like in the article, we are judging the Lammily doll just as we judged Barbie.

    We should encourage girls at a young age that they can choose their own image and not have to live up to be like dolls such as Barbie or Lammily. Who we are as individuals should not defined by materialistic objects. A girl should love herself beyond how she looks because who she is as a person makes her unique and defines her individuality. Not because her latest doll looks a certain way.

    • cs341blog says:

      Keltie Johnson has a great point when she argues that making a ‘normal’ Barbie makes a girl want to now be pushed into this ‘normal’ figure. Maybe we could make the health Barbie and create a doll which has the body type of a healthy young women. Why can’t we have all the dolls different sizes and heights and colors? If we can customize our Nike speakers can we not customize our dolls?

      I also thought the article brought up a controversial issue of the boy doll. Megan McCormick argued that no one is fighting for the male action figures, which I do not believe is true. There are arguments on the male body images the media portrays. These images also force many males to feel self conscious about their own bodies. I don’t think we can say that this is only a female issues.

      On that note I do agree that its the meaning that is created around these dolls. Teaching your children how these dolls can be created through their own imaginations. Creating the “it’s your story” doll (and by saying dolls I refer to both male/female toys) promoting the ways that you as a consumer gets to decided what this particular toy will do in its “lifetime”. I grew up playing with dolls and still am confident in my body and skills. Educating our youth is important as future parents.

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