Issues: Fat Barbie

Barbie Doll – The Perfect Figure? by: Terry Edwards

While no one will argue with the popularity of Mattel’s Barbie Doll, one area that has raised its fair share of controversy over the years is her figure. Many parents from around the world have argued that Barbie’s ultra-slim figure represents a ridiculous standard for a body shape. They say that many girls grow up thinking that they must have the same figure as Barbie or there is something wrong with them. While I don’t take that radical of a stance, I will say that it would be quite difficult to measure up to Barbie’s standards. If you take the measurements of Barbie, she would be over 7 feet tall, weigh around 125 pounds, and have a shape of 32-20-42. Of course, no woman could maintain a figure like that, but this is where the controversy stems. In addition, Barbie has a very long neck. In fact, her neck is nearly twice the size of the average woman. Her feet are also another source of criticism with many saying that Barbie’s feet are only half the size of a normal womans due to foot binding. That is the practice of preventing your feet from growing by constricting them. Some have went as far as saying that the Barbie doll has caused their children to become anorexic from trying to maintain Barbie’s figure. I think that may be a little extreme, but I can see both sides. In recent years, Mattel has given in a little bit on this issue and widened Barbie’s waist a bit. This took place around the year 2000. Barbie now has a more proportioned waist. Regardless of what Barbie’s figure looks like, or who is right or wrong on this issue, the real winner in this debate is Mattel. The added controversy and publicity only helps to fuel sales. I wonder why no one talks about Ken’s figure?

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