I read an interesting post on Huffington Post this week from a Hamilton College student named Galia Slayen. Galia built a “if Barbie were a real person, here’s how she’d look” model for a National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDAW) presentation at her high school. She has since brought the model back out for NEDAW presentations at Hamilton. Slayen’s project does a a great job of showing the absurd body dimensions that Barbie portrays and projects.
Do we have Barbie’s in our house? We do. Seemingly innocent, but when I think deeper, if I give a 5 year old girl a Barbie doll, I might as well let her watch violent movies and play Resident Evil on my Playstation 3. Any potential damage would be similar.
Some scary Barbie stats that Slayen sourced from Margo Maine’s book, Body Wars:
• There are two Barbie dolls sold every second in the world.
• The target market for Barbie doll sales is young girls ages 3-12 years of age.
• A girl usually has her first Barbie by age 3, and collects a total of seven dolls during her childhood.
• Over a billion dollars worth of Barbie dolls and accessories were sold in 1993, making this doll big business and one of the top 10 toys sold.
• If Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5’9″ tall, have a 39″ bust, an 18″ waist, 33″ hips and a size 3 shoe.
• Barbie calls this a “full figure” and likes her weight at 110 lbs.
• At 5’9″ tall and weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia. She likely would not menstruate.
• If Barbie was a real woman, she’d have to walk on all fours due to her proportions.
• Slumber Party Barbie was introduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs with a book entitled “How to Lose Weight” with directions inside stating simply “Don’t eat.”
Read Slayen’s post here.