Friday, July 5, 2013

Dear Mattel: Please DON'T Change Barbie

The other day I read this article talking about Nickolay Lamm and creation of a more realistic Barbie. It's all part that whole, "Barbie gives young girls unrealistic expectations of body image" thing that people have chosen to have their panties in a wad over. Here's the "realistic Barbie" compared to a real Barbie. 

I took the pictures from the article.
The measurements for the "realistic Barbie" are based off of the CDC's measurements for the average 19-year-old female.

The writer of this article then went on to tell Mattel, "We're waiting to see her on shelves, Mattel. [Insert impatient foot-tapping noise here.]"

Umm...No, please no. And here's why:

The original Barbie design is so hilariously disproportionate it's obvious that no one could ever look like that and that no one was ever meant to.

A couple of fun facts I pulled off of Wiki Answers:

  • If Barbie were a real person, she would be 6' 0", weigh 100 lbs., and wear a size 4. Her measurements would be 39"/21"/33". 
  • She would not be able to menstruate, hold up her back and neck, would have to crawl on all fours due to her legs and feet, and would have many medical problems. 
  • There was actually a study done by both Yale and Duke Universities to answer that type of question. "Using hip measurements as a constant, calculations were made to determine the changes necessary for a young, healthy adult woman ... to attain the same body proportions as Barbie... Among the changes necessary were for the female to increase 24 in. in height, 5 in. in the chest, and 3.2 in. in neck length, while decreasing 6 in. in the waist." Since the average 20-year-old American woman is 5 ft. 4.5 inches tall, Barbie would have to be at least 7'4".
  • And then there's this picture I pulled off an article byGalia Slayen. The model is made based off of the previously mentioned measurements (although I'm sure from a different source) and reflects how Barbie would look if she were life size.  

Once again, obviously, we are not meant to look like that. 

This "realistic Barbie" that's got do-gooders all hyped is a crock of crap. It's peddled on "how real women look". Let me show you the picture again.

My butt has never been that perfectly plump. I've never, in my teen or adult life, not had cellulite clinging to my ass. My stomach has never been that flat. My thighs have never NOT touched. I've had stretch marks on my back and stomach for so long I can't even remember when they got there and I have never and will never look that good in a bikini. I believe these statements (at least one or two) belong to a whole shit ton of women. So how is this Barbie better? 

Moving from an ideal that is obviously imaginary to one we're supposed to be able to conform to and that's "real" can only cause more problems. Instead of being able to tell little Sally that's she's beautiful the way she is and if she looked like Barbie that means her head would flop around comically as she crawls through the mall desperately trying to find a store that sells pants that will fit over her ass but not fall off of her waist, we have to tell Sally, "Well, that's what the average woman looks like so lay off the tea cakes". That just makes us bastards. 

So please Mattle, keep Barbie unrealistic and a TOY.

On a side note, I wonder where the call for a fat, balding Ken is in all this hysteria. I Googled, "Demand for realistic Ken doll". Want to know what I got? A bunch of articles about the real life Ken doll and how he wants more plastic surgery. 

I know, it's a small search parameter. To be fair I decided I'd Google, "Demand for realistic Barbie". Boom, tons of crap about making Barbie more realistic. Even an article entitled, "Barbie dolls of the world: Realistic or Raciest". I didn't read the article, but my guess is racist because it's Barbie and her heart and soul is to be an unrealistic doll. 

So no one gives a crap about Ken being realistic because it's not like guys EVER develop body image issues. Screw what this article all about teen males struggling with body issues says. People flipping their gourds about their little girls toys giving them irreparable psychological damage know better then to believe any such fluff. 

And don't worry. Even though playing with Barbie will give your daughter unrealistic expectations of how she should look, playing with Ken will in no way influence her opinion of how men should look. Because everyone knows that men don't look like Ken dolls. Not even this guy:

 NO! Because Ken is supposed to be good looking, not have a face that says, "I'm a douche".

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