A plus-size Barbie has come under fire for its attempt to portray a more realistic proportion of what an average American woman looks like. The doll’s endeavor to counter the rail-thin traditional Barbie image is falling flat however, reports Yahoo! Health on Dec. 25.
The "biggie-sized" Barbie is not an actual toy yet. It’s an idea being promoted by the Facebook group Plus Size Modeling, who recently shared a post of the Barbie and asked their viewers: “Should toy companies start making plus sized Barbie dolls?”
Although almost all answered "yes," (the image has received close to 40,000 “likes” as of the writing of this article), the majority of the comments are blasting the Barbie for being way more than simply “plus-sized.” In fact, the Barbie is downright obese, and most women would be embarrassed to go out of the house wearing the tiny dress that the corpulent Barbie is modeling.
A sampling of the Facebook comments:
“Sure, but Barbie doesn't need a double chin. You can be 'plus size' w/o the double chin. They could make a 'thick' Barbie.” – Vanessa McNeil
“Get rid of the chin! Not all fat folk have multiple chin!” – Tiffany Bates
“This is not what plus size women looks like. This doll is a terrible impression of a plus size woman.” – Lisa May Dixon
Most agree that the plus-sized Barbie has swung to the complete opposite extreme. The doll portrays plus-size women as inherently unhealthy, when many are actually a healthy weight and just naturally curvy.
Some do not agree with the idea of "giving in" and promoting a bigger Barbie, just because the average woman is larger than she likely wants to be.
"No one is naturally fat for gods sake, that's sending the message to girls that it's ok to look like this and be unhealthy.. How about we stop obsessing about being overweight and teach our children to eat healthy and get out and play..." – Elaine Cassin
The plus-size Barbie image was produced by Worth1000.com, not Barbie’s manufacturer Mattel, and is attempting to resonate with statistics that show that 60 percent of American women self-identify as part of the "plus-size" market.
Traditionally, Barbie has always been portrayed as thin – sickly thin if any girl were to actually resemble the elongated Barbie body.
In fact, Yahoo! reports that the "Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders calculated on average how much an average healthy woman’s body would have to change for her to have the equivalent proportions of a Barbie doll. Overall, women would have to grow two feet taller, extend their neck length by 3.2 inches, gain 5 inches in chest size, and lose 6 inches in waist circumference. These dimensions are considered impossible to achieve."
Rehabs.com also wrote an attention-grabbing piece, entitled Dying to be Barbie -- Eating Disorders in Pursuit of the Impossible, citing some startling statistics:
Four out of five 10-year-olds say that they're afraid of being fat. 42% of girls in first through third grade wish they were thinner. And, half of girls aged 9 or 10 claim that they feel better about themselves when they're dieting.
That didn’t stop one woman from attaining the Barbie look however: