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Why I Hate Barbie: See Her Proportions on a Real Woman (Plus Barbie Then And Now In Photos)

By Monica Bielanko |

Barbie circa 1960: killing self-esteem since way back when.

I’ve never bought my daughter a doll. There are a few lying around the house, gifts from relatives and friends. So far she has shown no interest. Her favorite toys? Dinosaurs. Dozens of plastic dinosaurs and assorted animals Dad almost obsessively purchases for her.

Just tonight I had to break up a raucous dinosaur party being held on the coffee table. It was way past everyone’s bedtime. I’ve also stepped on the sharp claws of lost dinosaurs in the dark of night, have found them voyaging under the covers of my bed at the most inopportune of moments (if you know what I’m saying) have caught them hitching a ride in the car or floating helplessly in the kiddie pool in the backyard.

And I love it.

I’m dreading the day/hoping it never comes that my 3-year-old daughter decides Barbie is better than Brontosaurus.

I hate Barbie.

With tits out to there, feet only made for high heels and that creepy smooth area where her Lady Parts are supposed to be, I’m not sure Barbie is the kind of thing Violet, or any child, needs to grow up staring at.

Barbie is the Kim Kardashian of the toy world and I think we both know Kim isn’t anyone you want your kid emulating. In fact, I’m certain there is a sex tape or two in Barbie’s past that some wily publicist has covered up somewhere by over-publicizing the release of a Dream Mansion or an impossibly expensive convertible.

I’ve long expressed my disdain for Barbie and her uppity gang and have been perceived as uptight by people in my circle who think groping the doll and her big, blonde ‘do is a harmless way for a young girl to spend the afternoon playing.

NO WAY! I’d say to well-meaning relatives who jockeyed to be the person to give Violet her first Barbie. I’ve actually tossed two Barbie gifts into the trash because I didn’t want Violet seeing them. I’d have sent them to Goodwill but felt I’d be perpetuating the systematic extermination of self-esteem Barbie has perpetrated lo these many years and so the trash seemed like the safest place to stash her skinny ass.

Now I have a new weapon in my anti-Barbie arsenal should anyone comment on why Barbie is unwelcome in my home. Huffington Post has published a photo showing Barbie’s proportions on a real woman.

Check it out:

The photo apparently began making the Internet rounds after Australian blog “So Bad So Good” tweeted it. As the Huffington Post points out, this isn’t the first time Barbie’s absurd proportions have made the Internet rounds, but it’s certainly worth the reminder.

See? Why would you hand your gorgeous little daughter, the pure and sweet love of your life, a naked grown woman with impossible tits, ass and hair to play with? And yet so many of you think I’M the weird one for wanting to keep these from my daughter’s universe for as long as possible.  Yeah, sure, she’ll see Barbies at the houses of friends later on. She’ll probably also watch R-rated movies I don’t want her to see, too.  Either way it’s not happening in my house. When she asks if she can have a Barbie and I say nope and she whines BUT WHYYYYY I’ll have an answer ready to go:

Because I love you and because those dolls are awful and demean beautiful, real women like you and me by subconsciously making us think that unnatural body and that hair is the way a real woman should try to be, but thinking that way is like eating poison.  It gets inside you and eats away at your thoughts, the good thoughts you think about yourself like you are beautiful just the way you are. Nobody on the planet looks like that. It’s freakish and gross and I don’t want you playing with something that could ultimately make you feel bad about yourself or value the wrong things or somehow make you want to try to live up to some impossible standard of womanhood set into motion within you when you first looked at the gigantic boobs and tiny waist of a creepy, plastic doll with big, bleached hair and too much make-up. NOW GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!

Love her or hate her, Barbie is a worldwide icon who has had more than 100 different jobs including fashion designer, flight attendant, TV news reporter, veterinarian, UNICEF ambassador, teacher, astronaut, race car driver, aerobics instructor and presidential candidate.

Barbie and her gang through the years:

 

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If Barbie Was a Real Woman

Barbie Millicent Roberts

Barbie made her public debut in 1959. Her first look was intended to mirror the sophisticated glamour of 1950s stars like Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth. According to HistoryEngine.com "Mattel's marketing emphasized the dolls mature face and figure that had made her famous: “Barbie is small and so petite, her clothes and figure look so neat.” Barbie was created by Ruth Handler, a mother who saw an opportunity after watching her daughter, Barbara, play adult and teenage make-believe with paper-dolls. No company had ever made a three-dimensional, adult-proportioned doll before.
Photo Credit: dustcatchers.com

Top photo credit: About.com

More From Monica on Strollerderby:

25 Must-Read Books For Kids

Dispatches From the Parent ‘Hood: Top Tweets ‘O’ The Week

The Hubs, Preggers, Totes, Adorbs and The Sluttiest Word In The English Language

You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.

MORE ON BABBLE:

25 wackiest, weirdest prom dresses of all time
7 things you should never say to a child

20 everyday items my toddler finds fascinating
10 things you should NEVER utter to your daughter-in-law
10 toddler personalities your kid will meet in preschool

More on Babble

About Monica Bielanko

monica-bielanko

Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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72 thoughts on “Why I Hate Barbie: See Her Proportions on a Real Woman (Plus Barbie Then And Now In Photos)

  1. anonymous says:

    You are delusional and some what crazy!!!!!! Barbie is only a doll, she is not scaled to be modeled like a real human and she only is made to model “doll” clothing. Get a grip people, leave Barbie’s body alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. goddess says:

    ROFL- I had a huge Barbie collection- AND plastic dinosaurs (plus a box of prehistoric flash cards, with Latin names that I had memorized before kindergarten), a righteous Hot Wheels collection, books coming out my kazoo, knew every flag of the world due to a great activity/sticker book and played a mean game of SPUD.
    The daughter has had Barbies, Polly Pockets, HotWheels, Legos, books etc- and is the smartest of my bunch, doing her ACTs at 12 yrs old. And she cares more about her work and future than her hair makeup or running around partying like most of the girls her age.
    It’s not the toy, it’s how you raise them and what they do WITH the toy.
    Oh and most of her summer has been spent helping her Dad build a humungous treehouse- from her design to cutting and staining the wood, to putting it together.
    Oh, but I’ll admit, I let her little brother play Barbies with her too when he wanted ;-)

  3. Nelson's Mama says:

    I loved Barbie (plus, Ken, Madge, Skipper, Twiggy) as a little girl. Spent hours dressing them in clothes that my grandmother made and then, she taught me to sew clothes for them.

    I never had any delusions or thoughts that real women were stacked like Barbie – even as a four year old, I knew she was a DAMN DOLL. Give your kid more credit…

    P.S. I was also a tomboy. Barbies, bikes and tree-climbing are not mutually exclusive.

  4. bunnytwenty says:

    Barbie isn’t a real person, and doesn’t need defending. Why does it offend people so much that Monica is being careful that what her child is exposed to reflects her values? Isn’t that what parents are supposed to do?

  5. Monica Bielanko says:

    @Nelson’s Mama – I realize she’s a doll. With impossible tits and ass. Just like the photoshopped ones in all the magazines that make women feel like sh!t and cause eating disorders the world over. Have you ever felt like crap about your body? Why? Because you compare it to other women? How do you know playing with Barbie didn’t give you a distorted view of what women were supposed to be like? Because, at 4, you know exactly what affected your brain as you grew and how it affected your brain? If I can protect my daughter’s self-esteem in this small way – by teaching her early that stuff like this is bogus then why not?

    I also realize that Barbies and tree-climbing are not mutually exclusive and that wasn’t my point at all. I simply don’t want Barbie in my kid’s world. I find everything about her as disgusting as beauty pageants like Toddlers & Tiaras. Is that really all that weird?

  6. Amy Dee says:

    Totally agree Monica. I am not going to be buying my daughter Barbies. Yeah, it’s only a doll….but the world shoves images of the ‘perfect’ woman down our throats all day long, so why encourage it? I want to shield my daughter from all that crap as long as I can. I know that, just because she is a girl, she is going to get older and become aware of her body and feel insecure and want to change herself and be the subject of sexist comments and just basically deal with all the shit that we deal with as women is this world. But the last thing I want to do is speed that process up.

  7. Steph says:

    Monica, I’m with you. My 3 year old will never have a Barbie in our house, either. My mum had the same policy, however my Grandmother got one past her one Christmas and the first time she saw it was when I opened it. Only days later I lopped all her hair off so she looked like a real punk! I agree with all of your points. The thing that gets me is why does she need to be so out of normal proportion? Not that I would like her much better if she were a little more normal… There’s a lot about stuff marketed to little girls that carry some pretty nasty and limiting messages/attitudes… I also avoid pink. I feel it’s a slippery slope to pink everything all the time everywhere. Which I hate! There are MANY ways to be a girl in this world, and they should all be celebrated!

  8. jeneria says:

    I didn’t play with Barbie because Barbies didn’t do anything. The only dolls I owned were Jem, the Holograms, and the Misfits. They had so points of articulation, were giant-sized, and had cool accessories. But Barbie was lame, her accessories were pretty cool, but the doll itself didn’t move or do much besides stand there.

  9. Kelli says:

    My dog has eaten Every. single. Barbie that has ever graced our household. So she’s totally welcome, but the bitch loses an arm or leg every time she comes over.

  10. Yikes! says:

    Um, Barbie is a doll. A toy. This seems a bit psychotic to me. Are you worried your daughter will want to look like a dinosaur? I don’t think their is anything wrong with playing with Barbie Dolls or any other dolls for that matter, only crazy people think they need to look like a toy. So, the average little girl is not at risk for any kind of problems from playing with Barbies. I feel sorry for you & your child, she’s being excluded from something that is normal. You might need some anti-anxiety meds. OR maybe get worked up about politics or something, not Barbie dolls.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Thank you! I grew up Barbie-less because my mother felt this way. Now my daughter is growing up in a Barbie-free house because I think this way too. She is 7 now, and has got past wanting a Barbie to understanding the reasons that she isn’t allowed to have one.

  12. goddess says:

    LOL, silly bunny twenty.
    She ASKED:
    “Why would you hand your gorgeous little daughter, the pure and sweet love of your life, a naked grown woman with impossible tits, ass and hair to play with? ”
    And we answered. @@ Her inference, so vulgarly expressed, deserved a response.

  13. Belinda says:

    I grew up with Barbie and yes so is my daughter. She even has all my 70′s barbie clothes which is pretty cool ;-) I dont mind her playing with barbies, i have grown up knowing that barbie was not what real women looked liked and im sure my daughter will too. Im more likely to keep my daughter shielded from the evening news than worry about a doll. Monica, you are raising your daughter beautifully and I love reading your blog and I love how we all have our own opinion.

  14. Cindy says:

    @Steph. How did cutting her hair off make it any better? Did your girl not cry? That was kinda mean. If its punk its automatically better? I don’t think the doll affects our body image as much as TV and movies and magazines, I never remember thinking “why don’t I look like Barbie?” But I do remember looking at magazines thinking that about models.

  15. Amanda says:

    I’m on the fence for the whole Barbie issues…but I do think it’s super important as mothers to build a positive self-image in our daughters by limiting the negative talk about ourselves. You know the whole, “I’m so fat, blah, blah, blah” garbage. I don’t know about you. But, my 7 year old hears absolutely everything I say and every bit of it she takes to heart. I know. I know. WAY easier said than done. :)

    Kudos Monica for a great post and the positive way you’re raising your little one!

  16. Kit says:

    Barbie is not who I want to be a role model for any little girl or boy.

  17. goddess says:

    Nor would I want Buzz Light Year, peeing baby dolls, Power Rangers, Legos, Hot Wheels or Mythbusters to be “role models”, LOL. I never really thought of a plastic doll as a role model. Silly me. I guess the emphasis on reading and books that gradually replaced playing with toys more or less cured that in me. And my daughter.

  18. batman says:

    So…. you don´t want impossible figures and you teach her hatred? Just check at the title you chose….isn´t it a little contradictory? Please take a little time, give your kid credit and EXPLAIN her why a barbie´s figure is just as impossible as a tyranosaurus rex.

  19. DeathMetalMommy says:

    Mon, I think you’re awesome but I just can’t totally agree with you on this one. It’s a toy, yo. That’s what you tell your kid when she gets one. They are based on what real people look like, but so are Bratz dolls. It just reminds me of all those parents going bat-shit crazy about how Harry Potter books teach witchcraft and make kids think magic is real. How ’bout you hitch up your Mom jeans and explain to them that it’s FICTION. It’s not real. So, regarding Barbie, you tell your kid that real people don’t look like that. Ta da!

    Besides, I had a Barbie once upon a time that had hair down to her ankles. I in no way believed that was what I was supposed to aspire to.

    http://www.deathmetalmommy.blogspot.com

  20. lena says:

    I like your anti-Barbie stance. I feel the same, though I don’t have kids. Little girls get taught from such a young age about how our identity is dependent on how we look…and the standards are Barbie-like looks and impossible proportions. We (including me) are so used to commenting on girls’ clothes/looks (you are so pretty! love that dress!), and telling boys they are strong/capable/tough. Just spend the day with small children and listen to how many times girls receive comments about their looks compared to boys and how many boys receive comments about their actions. Nothing is wrong with these acts, but they do send messages about what is important (ie: Girls’ looks and being pretty, boys being strong). And Barbie is just one more piece of that puzzle, teaching girls about the female ideal through a plastic doll. A doll makes a difference because she is more one reinforcement of this message that girls receive everywhere. I loved my Barbies as a kid. AND I think it’s good to challenge these limited ways of teaching us about womanhood whenever we can. So I say: good for you for not buying Barbies for your kid!

  21. Hanni says:

    I’m glad my 5 year old daughter isn’t into dolls. If she’s ever interested, I have some Sasha dolls that were mine when I was young that she can play with, which are really cool. But for now, it’s all planes (who talk to each other), trucks, trains and digging in the dirt (in her pink outfits) and I’m totally fine with that.

  22. GPT says:

    It’s a doll. Once again, activist parents reading too much into stuff that children would never imagine. Maybe we should make a bunch of shrill, angry, doughy dolls so these women will feel better about themselves.

  23. Amanda says:

    I grew up with Barbies and my daughters will as well when they get to that age. I feel today we are reading too much into what our children are learning from their toys rather than what they are learning from their parents and people around them. While I respect that there will be toys that parents do not allow their children to play with I also feel that those parents need to lay back on the judgmental tone when it comes to what toys I choose for my daughter to play. I do hope if you keep Barbies from your children you will also not allow them to watch Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast,etc or is that just crazy talk? It is completely possible to allow our daughters to play with these dolls and understand that they are just that, dolls. Not real life.

  24. Sarah says:

    I have a problem with Barbie also. I think the public has made the effort to show Barbie’s proportions as more petite than they used to be. It used to be more baddaboom Barbie, but now it’s Eating Disorder Barbie, like it’s okay for the grown woman to look like a 12 year old girl? I’m not sure I get either one of the kinds, but I do think it’s important to teach your child to respect your body and your health, and it starts with yourself, by not complaining about your own figure in front of her.

  25. Melanie says:

    I have two girls. One loves soccer and has never had much use for Barbie, except when she is with her little sister. She is getting too old for that stuff, but in her younger days all her heroes were boys and she loved Peter Pan–which, frankly, I’m not sure is healthier because she isn’t a boy and there can be some disappointment there. My younger one loves the Barbie dolls. A. Lot. I let her cut their hair. They (both) make prosthetic limbs when the dolls lose one. Or they duct tape the legs together and turn them into mermaids. They make clothes for them with mesh bags from fruits and veggies and baby wipes with ink on them and staples and tape. Some have gills drawn on their faces with pen and are underwater sea people. All of that is fine with me, because I am also a bit freaked out by Barbie as her typical self, but I’ve learned that being open-minded about it has encouraged more than a little creativity.

  26. Shannon says:

    WOW!!!!

  27. Lauren says:

    Really, Barbie is a doll, that’s it. For whatever reason she’s become fodder for social commentary, but it’s only a doll. Isn’t it interesting that GI Joe dolls and Hulk dolls haven’t been blamed for distorting a boy’s perception about what a real man is? Barbie shouldn’t either because she’s a doll and in no way to blame for a little girl’s skewed vision of womanhood. You want to be disgusted and annoyed, how about launching a nationwide letter-writing campaign to the people who make shows like Toddlers and Tiaras….a three-year-old made up to look like she’s 17?……that’s far more harmful to society and a girl’s perception of beauty than Barbie.

  28. Lisa says:

    My 5 year old has them I hate them. I will never buy them (hers are hand me downs).Why? Because they are BORING that’s why!!

    Monster High dolls are MUCH more interesting :)

  29. denise says:

    im a 37 year old who grew up off of playing with barbie and also my 16 year old daughter who loved playing with barbie and sometimes i even played too she had all the clothes in the world lol its just a doll its up to the mothers to school there daughters on how not to feel insecure

  30. Elle says:

    If your daughter is using a doll for her role model, I think you have bigger problems. I think as long as YOU are a positive role model for her, and explain to her that Barbie is just a doll, then she’ll be fine to play with one. I had tons of Barbies and I don’t view her as the idea woman… never have, never will. I’m smarter than that, and I would like to think if I had a daughter he would be as well.

  31. Alisa says:

    There is a big difference between IDOLIZING a toy, and having/playing with a toy… If your child idolizes a toy, whether it be Barbie or G.I. Joe, there is a problem.

  32. Katie says:

    Yeah….Barbie is harmless. And so are all the Disney Princesses and fashion magazines. And yet, I’m a teacher and every single little girl that I have ever taught (1st graders) defines beauty as being thin and blonde. Yup. You’re right. It totally makes no impact.

  33. Linda says:

    The woman/women who are against Barbie obviously have inferiority complexes …. Barbie is a DOLL …. Cabbage patch dolls (in MY OPINION) are UGLY … I am 60 years young and STILL love Barbie …. NOT because she is or ever was a “role model” but simply because she was a doll … a very versatile doll .. I also had horses …. I have and always will love horses too. I NEVER even noticed or realized that Barbie had “tits” UNTILL my own mother pointed them out told me she did NOT want me to have Barbie ….. she told me it was a BAD doll … she should not “be” like that. You have NO idea what trauma that caused me when I began to “mature” …. I was scared to death that I was BAD …… PLUS my own mother was “BAD” SHE had big tits ….. which, by the way, as a child … I never really noticed or thought about UNTIL that moment when my mom said that to me. CHILDREN see things so very differently than most all adults ….. Parents may THINK they’re saying and doing the “right thing” by their kids in this manner ….. when in reality … they are causing undo harm …….. I would love to have a FULL collection of all the Barbies .. (not the newest ones though) but could never afford them. The Native American line is my most favorites. This doll brought all the cultures and dress to all of us and I enjoy that and think it’s great! My question to you all is …. do your children watch TV? Look at magazines? Watch movies? If so …. perhaps you should forbid them to do so …. there are some rather shapely and lovely women on TV, in movies and magazines ….. AND in REAL LIFE!

  34. kate says:

    Or you could just tell your child that that is not what real women look like, that God made us all differently and we are all awesome. Hating Barbie for her proportions is to me like not letting your kids play with cabbage patch dolls because you are afraid they will get a big head.

  35. BARBIE VALDEZ says:

    F.Y.I…………………………………………………………………….TO THE CLUELESS DUMB PPL OUT THERE……UMMMMMM BARBIE WAS A DOLL A MOTHER MADE AND NAMED AFTER HER DAUGHTER BARBARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO A WOMAN DID NOT MAKE A DOLL AFTER HERSELF! KELLY AND KEN ARE HER BROTHER AND SISTER…. MAYBE U SHOULD MAKE A DINOSAUR AND NAME IT AFTER UR DAUGHTER…. IF IT BECOMES FAMOUS… GENERATIONS WILL ADD THINGS ON THERE THAT UR ORIGINAL TOY DID NOT HAVE!!!!

  36. Patty Ordway says:

    You all are so concerned about Barbie when is the last time you checked what your kids are doing on the computer? Or what they are watching on tv in their room? Or what they see at the movies when you drop them off? Or even better what games they are playing on their game console? These things can be far more damaging to what your kids are seeing to what a Barbie could possibly do to them.I always felt my kids became very creative with the dolls and would use their imagination and role play with them.Isn’t that what we want them to do when they play? Not once did I ever hear my kids say they wanted to be like her or grow up to be like her.Like I said I would be more concerned about the things your not seeing those are the most dangerous.

  37. Andrea Raquel says:

    Great article. I attribute my obnoxious and sometimes intolerable self confidence to the fact that I’ve never owned a barbie… not a “black barbie”, which is not what her name was, but whatever.

  38. Vera Radziszewski says:

    Ok. I had Barbies as a young girl. In no way shape or form did I believe that I was supposed to look like that when I grew up. I also have a whole box full of Barbies that my mother-in-law gave me to give to my daughter. I didn’t give them to her. But not for the reasons you may think. My daughter is 12 and has Autism. She’d rather read, play on her computer or watch dvds. She loves electronics. But if she were different (or “normal”) I would give the DOLLS to her. That’s what they are, just dolls hence the name “Barbie Doll”. Every parent is entitled to their opinion about Barbie. yes, she is beautiful, but also unrealistic.

  39. Sarah says:

    Yes, Barbie is a doll. Of course, if your daughter is aspiring to be a doll, you might have some things to worry about.

    All that said though, I think it’s safe to say Barbie dolls could be contributing to self-esteem/self-image issues in girls/women, similarly to how air-brushed images of women in magazines can make someone feel kinda ugly. No one can blame just ONE image, or just ONE doll. But as a whole, it could get pretty overwhelming for a little person trying to navigate the world.

    To the people saying “but I had a Barbie when I was little, and I’m fine!” — good on you! That doesn’t mean it’s bad for the author to protect her little girl from what she sees as a threat to her growing self-confidence. It makes me think maybe there really is something else going on with you, to feel the need to defend something so strongly that you say “doesn’t matter.”

  40. sherrie morgan says:

    My daughter has too high self esteem for me to worry about a barbie doll affecting her. lol. I created a monster when it comes to that. I’m pretty proud of that. ( most the time)

  41. Jessie says:

    Im not saying barbie is a perfect influence on kids self asteem but how many parents want to buy their kids a fat barbie or one with no boobs or maybe a doll with a really big nose or no lips…..ummmmm I wouldnt. Beauty sells and barbie was made to be pretty. A tall long legged doll…. I dnt see anyone complaining about the ken doll and how he effects boys self esteems

  42. Nmcdnancy says:

    I’m so tired of this. If it’s not the anti-Barbie mom, it’s the anti plastic dad or anti-TV family. Is this really about the kids? Or is it about the parents’ need to demonstrate how rare and wise they are. Type the words “*my* daughter plays with donosaurs” and you can practically feel the sings and the halo sprouting. (though one mustn’t forget the obligatory disclaimer that there are a few Barbies around the house. Wouldn’t want to be *too* crazed about it).

    I understand the pressure to think of things to write about and the insecurities that get to us all in the dead of the night, but still…. It’s it time we evolved?

  43. Susabelle says:

    I agree that parenting is the primary influence here, not toys. And to be sure, if you think that keeping Barbies or violent toys, etc. away from your kids will mean that they will avoid body image issues or aggressive behaviors, I would politely say, think again. I was determined after two daughters to raise my son in the same way, no guns, no war toys, and I was sure that parenting him in the same manner would ensure that he would want no part of such things. We didn’t let him watch violent cartoons on TV, etc. And then one day, lo and behold, as we were sitting in a restaurant, he (age 4) picket up a fork and pretended to shoot me it. I couldn’t believe it. Where in the world did he learn that? And I still don’t know, but from that point on we allowed him the usual little boy toys, and he has grown into the kindest, most gentle young man. So again, parenting is the key, along with family ethics and morals, love and kindness..

  44. Ugh says:

    Your child is not an idiot…get over your self delusional self, geez.

  45. Kathy says:

    Wow. We’ve gotten to serious as adults. It’s just a DOLL! Get the point!

  46. olivia says:

    I have to say, not to be mean, but this author may he a bit jealous of barbie lol. I think parenting, and not toys is the main effect. I loved barbiesas a kid but I never thought to look like her. I do think her proportions are rediculous, but its a toy!!!! Rather than attacking toys, we should take our jobs as parents seriously. Teach your kids to eat healthy and he active so they have more of a chance of not looking at toys to

  47. Meg says:

    Hmm I can definitely see where you’re coming from, I’ve heard a lot of girls in my time say they want to look like a barbie, and there was that Barbie Girl song, etc. However, I grew up playing with barbies intact all my sisters did, and I knew my barbies were just dolls. I think your anger is channeled in the wrong direction, it should be channeled at the media for shoving an unrealistic standard of what a beautiful woman should look like down our throats every day. On every magazine and every reality show there are very skinny women, models in movies, etc. It sends the wrong message out, however if you raise your daughter right and promote a positive self image and good self esteem it shouldn’t matter what your daughter plays with, or even watches on tv or sees in magazine or online. It starts with the parents.

  48. Evelyn says:

    Seriously people…you are all going nuts over this topic? let me simplify it for you “IT IS JUST A DOLL” if a child is saying “I wanna grow up and be barbie” let them think that, by the time they hit teen years they will have found another “ROLE MODEL” to fantasize about… just let your little girls be little girls!

  49. Denise Christian says:

    I am amazed that some people feel the way this article is speaking of Barbie.
    I grew up playing with Barbie dolls. Played with them for years. I did think that Barbie was pretty. I did think that many of my dolls were pretty. I liked the cute little outfits that I could change my dolls into. I loved setting up the Barbie houses. Made up my own “fake” arrangements out of blocks and all kinds of trinkets I could use with my imagination.
    But, I never once. NEVER once expected to grow up to look like a Barbie doll. I may have joked about it. But, never felt bad about it. I never felt that it was the way anyone was supposed to look. Even Ken, I never considered that the guys should all look like Ken. I knew they were pretend. And I understood why there were no “real,” private parts. It was a toy. Great memories of play time! Just saying.

  50. Co.nartist says:

    I think it is very sad how people wont quit being mentally ill. Its sad how barbie cant just be what she is, which is a toy, without people trying to add their feelings to everything. So what if Barbie is a doll of a pretty lady. Yes Barbie is pretty for a toy whether people like it or not. Would playing with an obese Barbie make you feel better. I hate how people get jealous of beauty. I actually hate how this world is full of handicap people who cant stop worshipping. Quit trying to tell people what they do and dont like. Its very mentally ill how just because a girl thinks Barbie is a pretty doll and they want to play with it you will get mad. You are just trying to get your daughter to have low self esteme and teach your daughters to be bigotted about beauty. I think you need to quit trying to make your daughter be you and let her choose if she likes a toy or not. Its sad how we all only get 1 shot at life, 1 chance to get to know everybody and appriciate their company but you cant because people and their stupid fillings , oppinions

  51. Nannyfire says:

    Smh smh….so childish

  52. Anna M. says:

    I used to play with dolls and i never thought that i should look like a barbie. I always knew they were unrealistic because they were just toys. I would be ok with my children playing with dolls. If she somedays thinks she needs to look like barbie, I will remind her that barbie is just a toy and isnt real.

  53. audrey criswell says:

    First off I say you need help. Barbie has been here forever. I do think you are crazy. I also think you must be one ugly person to be worried about a doll. My children played with them, and my grandchildren does. Your kid is going to do bad things behind your back and say that is why because you kept things from her. I could see if it was a bad thing. You really need help! Go get it now before you ruin your childs life.

  54. Rinda says:

    Ummm… they didn’t get the history right. There were “fashion dolls” before Barbie. I had a Revlon Doll in 1957. She had a woman’s figure, but it was much more natural. The breasts were smaller and the waist larger. She had the face of a 25 to 30 year old woman, and I thought she was beautiful. I much prefered her to the Barbie I got a few years later.

  55. Mikayla says:

    Being tall blonde and big chested is “freakish and gross”..sure, not every one looks like this or should feel the need to look like this but You teaching your daughter that is like me not letting my daughter play with certain dolls because being short and fat is “freakish and gross”. You are making her more hateful by teaching her to pass judgment based on looks…

  56. mama says:

    Co.nartist…Are you writing from prison? They let you have computers in there? WoW!… Your overuse of the term “mentally ill” sort of conveys that…Pretty tough in there huh? Is that YOUR diagnosis?…..hmmmm… It’s good you have an outlet to express your “fillings”

  57. Gina says:

    Yep, I played with Barbies as a child, my daughters had Barbies. They both, as well am myself, had Hot Wheels, Dinos, dump trucks, legos, Cabbage patch, amazing asst of stuff misc toys, etc. I have stated on more than one occassion “I don’t like Barbie” and why? Well it wasn’t her looks, it was that she could be anything, have everything, when I was constantly told I could never do this or never have that. Do I deny my child from this popular toy that sparks imagination? Nope – Never. Does my children know the difference between toys, imagination and reality? Yes – yes they do! And yes, I monitor their play, T.V. time etc.

  58. Anne W. Baker says:

    I suppose my comments will freak a few people out, but I thought it was rather
    funny, but more so, imaginative. My daughters played with several dolls while young. They had Cabbage Patch dolls. Cabbage Patch dolls were for cuddling, Betsy Wetsy was for changing diapers every 5 minutes until they became bored, .
    Barbie opened the door for all kinds of fun things that encouraged their imaginations. They had the Barbie Dream House, the Barbie swimming pool, and the air port. Lots of mix-matched furniture was used in or near all three. Every year at a sidewalk fair I bought each a handmade dress. They were long, old-fashioned, and had hats that matched. They played with those so often, in a year they were pretty much torn and gone. During all this play, some of the arms, heads, and a few legs fell off.
    One day, I heard them in my youngest daughter’s bedroom. They hollered to me to see if I wanted spaghetti. I went in to find the dishes put on the little table with a few knives and forks. In the toy pot on the toy stove, were all these odd Barbie parts being stirred. That was the spaghetti! I thought it was not only funny but quite delighted to see their imaginations at work (or play)! We all ate our spaghetti. I ooed and ahhed. Delicious! They even used little pieces of cloth for napkins. No, I did not recoil in horror, thinking they would be cannibles when grown. They had many years to decide what they would become. They were just children having fun!! And ready to invent other games to play!

  59. Malissa Tucker says:

    So you don’t want your child playing with Barbie, but you expressed yourself and even replyed to comments so colorfully. I am just wondering with your language skills what your child is actually learning. There are a few Barbies that I do not feel should be manufactured and would not buy. But being someone that played with barbie and friends since a little girl, I DID NOT grow up wanting to be like barbie. She DID NOT warp my brain, She DID NOT make feel inadequate in any way.

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  69. EKRdoodle says:

    I personally love Barbie dolls, though I understand they are not for everyone. I never had issues because of her body, though I understand that some girls might be easily influenced by their playthings. It is up to the parent to decide on how her daughter is raised. I do not like it when people spew hate at Barbie, because really, she is just a doll who is what you make of her, but I do support people’s right to say whatever the heck they want.

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  72. Sian Davey says:

    My daughter grew up a tomboy, so she naturally despised the aspect of playing with dolls as she entitled the activity too feminine. Admittedly, I interacted with dolls such as Barbie for an extensive period in my infant-hood. I certainly did not infer my dolls as the realistic proportion of a regular mortal, because observing the appearance of my peers was my interpretation of the standard look. Your opinion is respectable, but I doubt our younger-generation intelligence lacks so inadequately to assume that a dolls exterior is the ordinary appearance of a normal female/male. If my daughter appealed the activity of occupying her time with dolls, then I would approve of her verdict- ultimately because it’s her judgement what she relishes to occupy herself with. Although, I do appreciate your debate.

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