Barbie has always represented a positive message, her outward appearance is just catching up with her.
For over five decades, Barbie has been a big part of the formative years of many generations of children.
With the evolution of the way we view toys, Barbie remains to be loved but she has also come under scrutiny.
Criticism ranged from her unrealistic proportions and racial exclusivity. There were even accusations that Barbie had been the cause of eating disorders and so, taking all this as constructive feedback, Barbie adapted.
Her recent makeovers have been well received. The iconic Barbie has proven that she’s more than just a doll; she’s a role model.
Naysayers have attributed these sudden changes to Barbie creators Mattel to combat declining sales but there’s no denying the positive influence this is having on today’s generation of young girls.
‘Dying to be Barbie’
According to recent studies, four out of five children are afraid of being fat, 42% of girls aged 6 to 10 wish they were thinner. Alarmingly still, it has been found that by the time they reach high school, one in 10 students has an eating disorder and half of girls aged 9 to 10 say they feel themselves when they’re dieting.
Eating disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa have allegedly been caused by young girls wanting desperately to achieve Barbie’s unrealistic waist line and body type.
Having proportions that are not consistent with “normal” women, Barbie sets an impossible standard that many view to be unhealthy and causes young girls to grow up hating their bodies.
Promoting true beauty and self-love
Looking closely at the history of Barbie, beyond the physically flawless facade, she possessed an admirable drive for success.
Many have said that although she is pretty to look at, our focus should be on her many talents and skills such as the many careers she has represented.
Sure, it’s great that she now comes in various shapes and sizes but this makes her physically more relatable and more of a role model.
The physical aspect is just catching up with the positivity and inclusivity she has always represented.
We see this in the launch of ‘Career Girl Barbie’, which came out at the height of the Women’s Rights Movement in 1963.
Here, Barbie sends a message that girls can grow up to be who they want to be.
Barbie taught young girls that they need not conform to society’s expectations and that they could be powerful members of the workforce, whichever field they choose in the future.
This way, she lives up to the slogan, “Be who you wanna be”.
Her message has always been relevant. Focusing on true beauty, Barbie helps young girls to look past their own looks and focus on honing their talents and skills, this is what really matters after all.
She should not be lauded for how she looks but for what she has accomplished, a common struggle real life women face. In this aspect alone Barbie proves to be so relatable.
Barbie loves herself and does anything she puts her mind to so well, all while wearing fashionable high heels. Now isn’t that a good role model?
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