We've all heard of Barbie, right?
I've been a fan of Barbie dolls my whole life. I had way too many to count, a couple of houses, cars, and the little airplane. Barbies were my favorite dolls to play with when I was little because, honestly, every other doll freaked me out.
How much do we know about Barbie dolls? Here's a mini history lesson:
- Barbie made her debut on March 9, 1959.
- She is named after the creator's daughter: Barbara.
- Barbie's real name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
- This doll's image has been changed throughout the years.
- Here's a picture of the first Barbie ever:
Here's a picture of a recent Barbie doll:
Yeah, they've changed.
There has been a problem with Barbies for the last... I don't know how many years. First they were only Caucasian, then, the first "colored" Barbie came out in 1967. The word "colored" is in quotation marks because, according to many people, this doll didn't have African-American features. Now Barbie has different looking dolls, including the ones that are from different countries around the world.
There's another big problem, which is the one I want to address. According to many people, including body image expert Marci Warhaft-Nadler, “Barbie sends our girls one message, and it’s this: ‘You can do anything and you can be anything—as long as you look like this: very tall, very thin, very Caucasian, and very beautiful.'”
Do I agree with her? No.
Let's look at the typical Barbie doll next to the "normal" Barbie doll:
We can all see that the typical Barbie doll is very skinny, very tall, has a big head, etc. She is a doll. She looks like a typical doll.
And then, we see the "normal" Barbie and she looks like people do in real life. I think the one in the picture is suppose to look like an average 19-year old does.
This is my problem with the "normal" Barbie and people that think that Barbies are not good dolls for children:
Barbie dolls have always looked unrealistic. We're not supposed to look like Barbie dolls. When I was little, I didn't think about the way I was supposed to look like when I grew up because I was too busy thinking if Barbie and Ken should get back together because Kelly, Barbie's little sister, was sad! I understand that the media today can suck because they set expectations for women and the world is different than it was in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But dear ladies of the world, we should not, I repeat, SHOULD NOT let the media, ESPECIALLY BARBIE DOLLS, get to us! We are stronger than that. We look however we want to look. Barbie's big thing was "be who you want to be", meaning you can have any job in the world. Equality in the work place! Yeah, feminism! Barbie was everything! She was a doctor, a teacher (I had this one!), a chef, and many other things. I believe that what Marci Warhaft-Nadler said in her book, is not 100% correct. Yes, you can be whoever you want to be, but you don't have to look like the tall, skinny, Caucasian doll. There are plenty of different looking Barbie dolls out in the world right now, so calm down, Marci.
Let's take a look at famous women with Barbie doll proportions to prove my point that NOBODY should think that they should look like Barbies.
I believe that if parents are scared that their children will want to look like Barbie dolls, let them know! Go ahead and tell them that Barbie is a doll and that we are humans and are not supposed to look like a doll. I also believe half of the kids playing with dolls don't think "hmm, I need or should look like my doll" because they're busy trying to make up a story with their toys. Trust me, I remember what it was like to play with Barbies. It was fun. Never in my life did I think that women are supposed to look like the "perfect Barbie doll".
Let's not take our anger out on Barbie.