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Does Barbie cause unrealistic body expectations? New SI Barbies fuel controversy

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It was announced this week that Barbie doll will appear in the upcoming Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. The new cover featuring the doll will be revealed on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" tonight. This has fueled the fires of controversy among those who believe that the slender "teenage fashion model" doll causes little girls to have unrealistic body expectations.

There is a movement today to create heavier role models--everything from demanding more plus-size models to an overweight Disney princess. But which is really the healthier role model, plus-size or Barbie-sized?

The odds are stacked in Barbie doll's favor. With her slender proportions, Barbie would be the healthier role model in spite of her tiny waist and uber-long legs. The doll is not gaunt, so she does not appear anorexic, and study after study indicate thinner people do live longer, healthier and more productive lives than their overweight and obese counterparts.

At 1/6 scale, a 11.5 inches tall regular Barbie doll would have a height of 5 feet 9 inches with an estimated 36 inch chest, 18 inch waist and 33 inch hips, measurements which many American women achieve or come close to in their teens and lose as they put on the pounds. As more and more Americans consume more and more fatty foods at an earlier age--to the point obesity has become a national health crisis--fewer teens are achieving their healthiest weights, but can you really blame a doll for the fact Americans are obese?

Barbie is not the only one blamed. Those women with great genes who also manage to keep their weight down and become Sports Illustrated swimsuit models are also drawing fire for promoting "unrealistic body expectations." Really? While the swimsuits are ridiculously revealing to the point the women are objectified, the SI models all look pretty healthy to me. Perhaps the truly unrealistic and unhealthy body expectation is the one that insists we embrace obesity as healthy, normal and realistic.

What do you think? In light of the national obesity health crisis, what do you think about the Sports Illustrated Barbie doll causing unhealthy body expectations? Let us know in the comments below

See: National Skin Care Examiner * Rodan + Fields Examiner * Skin, Health & Beauty on Facebook * SkinHealthBeauty

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