Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The Cafe The Cafe

Do you believe Barbie negatively influences girls?

Posted by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 8:43 AM
  • 15 Replies

Artist Creates Barbie With Average-Size Body & We Wish Our Daughters Could Get One (PHOTOS)

by Maressa Brown

barbie normal nickolay lammEver since Barbie made her debut in 1959, certain questions have weighed on our minds: Why doesn't she look anything like real women? What would a real woman with her proportions actually look like?! What if her proportions were actually based on a real woman's? And beyond all that, what kind of negative effect -- if any -- is her distorted, unrealistic body having on the legions of little girls who've grown up playing with Barbie dolls for decades?

Artist Nickolay Lamm is addressing all of these Qs with his creation of "Normal" Barbie, aka a 3-D model created from CDC measurements of an average 19-year-old woman. He explained his rationale to us: "I created this 'Normal' Barbie, because I feel that if there's even a small chance of Barbie negatively influencing girls, and if normal Barbie looks good, why doesn't Mattel make 'normal Barbie'? ... I want to show people that normal Barbie can look even better than real Barbie. Average is beautiful."

More from The Stir: 7-Year-Old Girl’s Honest Reactions to 10 Barbies Will Shock the Doll’s Critics

It's true. His "Normal Barbie" looks stunning, doncha think? And a lot more, I don't know, real

barbie normal nickolay lamm

Still, shockingly, at least judging from comments under one story about Lamm's "Normal Barbie" experiment, some people think there's absolutely no negative effect -- and therefore no need for Mattel to make a more realistic doll. They argue that Barbie's "just a child's toy," and write, "If a little girl is dumb enough to think she's supposed to look like an 11-inch tall doll, that's her problem." Wow. No. It's not her problem. It's Mattel's and parents' and everyone's problem, because the downstream effects of what a little girl believes is beautiful and attractive and acceptable are tremendous. It could be a piece of the puzzle influencing whether she spends her life dreaming of finding the cure for cancer -- or pining after plastic surgery.

To that kind of thinking, Lamm says:

Some people think it's okay to tell real human beings how skinny they look, yet refuse to lay the same criticism on Barbie even though young girls are probably much more exposed to her than advertisements with skinny models. ... Just because we think something isn't affecting us, doesn't mean that's the case. I feel a lot of our actions are based on things we don't even think about.

Cheers to that! But the thing is ... we should be thinking about them, and that's what an artistic experiment like Lamm's aims to do. It gets a conversation going and gets us thinking about how we and our daughters and future generations of girls' body images and perceptions of beauty may be molded by Barbie's warped body -- perhaps in ways we never even realized.

What do you think of Lamm's experiment? Do you think there's a need for a "Normal Barbie"? Do you believe Barbie negatively influences girls?

by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 8:43 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
kidlover2
by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 8:45 AM
I still don't look like the realistic Barbie. Until they make Barbies in every single body shape, I will continue to use the fabulous 80's and 90's Barbies with their tiny waists and tiny arched feet so that I can continue to dress them for my 4 year old.
Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jul. 3, 2013 at 8:57 AM
Hell no. My girls are older and they didn't worship Barbie or remotely think she was real. Girls who do, need help and have issues anyway.
jobseeker
by Bronze Member on Jul. 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM
2 moms liked this

I think the girls who play with Barbie are too young to really equate he doll with a real person.  Dora has a HUGE head and tiny body, I don't think they really notice that either,  That being said, I see a bigger problem with the sexualization of girls too young.  Stores like Victoria's Secret, and even department stores like Macy's market very suggestive styles to very young girls.  

dingysfamily
by Suzi on Jul. 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Ditto .. my youngest started playing with Barbie's at under 2 years ... she picked her first one out b/c she saw it in a store & wanted one.  She never cared much for baby dolls - except for water babies - but Barbie was a passion with her.  She never ever thought of her as anything more than a toy and never equated the Barbie build as 'normal'!  Gotta agree with the last part also.

Quoting jobseeker:

I think the girls who play with Barbie are too young to really equate he doll with a real person.  Dora has a HUGE head and tiny body, I don't think they really notice that either,  That being said, I see a bigger problem with the sexualization of girls too young.  Stores like Victoria's Secret, and even department stores like Macy's market very suggestive styles to very young girls.  


bhow
by Bronze Member on Jul. 3, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Oh boy this will get me slammed.

 I personally think a lot of it has to do with how the parents/adults in family act around the kids.  My dad was caring and kind and my mother was a bitch.  Always complaining and dieting.  I have never dieted a day in my life and graduated a size 10 and still am, at 5 ft 8 in.  I think if women are obsessed about looks, hair, weight, nails, clothing...without a good male influence than the kids will suffer.  My dad was always kind to me no matter how I looked.  I used to smoke and quit.  So I asked my mom...'what is one thing you would like to see me do for myself?'  Without hesitating she rather loudly said...'Lose Weight!!'  I was hurt and flabbergasted but not surprised.  I had guys looking at me and calling me and coming into the restaurant I worked just so I could wait on them.  Never let my boobs hang out and had to wear a uniform for work.  She is just nuts and so were all her friends.  Many of there daughters turned out to be just like them cause they had no fathers that were nice to them.

This is my observation of knowing these people personally and seeing how their lives just go down hill all the time.  

lapcounter
by Gold Member on Jul. 3, 2013 at 11:02 AM
1 mom liked this
No I think TV, magazines and other females negatively influence others.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
KimmieLu
by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 11:28 AM
How many little girls with Cabbage Patch dolls wanted to get tattoos on their butts? Its a DOLL. Its more about how the parents raise their kid.
Lili0509
by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 12:01 PM
1 mom liked this

 I don't think its just Barbie, but then you see some clothes that are for little girls and you think, yea no wonder. Its ok to be cute but let little girls be little girls, there is way too much sexualization of our kids now days...

illinoismommy83
by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 12:05 PM

It is a toy. No, it is not everyone's problem if a girl wants to look like a toy. They have therapists for that. 

My daughter's legs bend and her head doesn't fall off when her sister plays with her, so my daughter knows she is not like a Barbie.


andrea0314
by New Member on Jul. 3, 2013 at 12:09 PM
I believe the Barbies they come out with is a negative influence on children the ones pregnant and having babies maybe its just me but I think that's to much for a child to take in and that's society's way of making kids grow up.to fast. Also I think it would be nice to have normal Barbies cuz not all kids are tiny small like a regular Barbie. Kids should feel beautiful the way they are.not think they have to be super tiny like barbie but that's just me
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)