Are the new Barbie doll body shapes actually good for children to play with? The perfect body shape of the original Barbie has been the cause of a lot debate.
Mattel has introduced the new body shapes for the iconic Barbie body: curvy, short and petite, so as to incorporate the the vast array of body shapes that children will see in the world. The idea supposedly is to allow girls to feel more welcoming toward different body shapes because they are introduced to them at a young age, but then the question becomes, is it actually good to introduce the distinction of different body shapes to young girls?
Little girls are playing together with their dolls and suddenly, they can’t share their doll clothes because one has a petite doll and the other has a curvy one. One doll can’t fit into the pretty dress that the other doll has. Suddenly, the girls realize that their dolls aren’t equal and therefore they must not be equal, all because they have different body shapes.
As a girl, I never wanted to look like Barbie. She was a plastic doll, and while her body seemed normal, I didn’t think that because I was chubbier than my friend that my body wasn’t good enough. Now little girls are introduced to the idea that some body types may or may not be as good as others.
In creating Barbies that are different in order to make girls feel more accepted, the opposite is at risk of happening, where these young girls may end up thinking that the difference in body shapes is a problem. Instead of messing with children’s toys, I think we should be trying to fix the magazines and the media where even skinny women are further photoshopped and people think that showing a single pimple means the end of the world. If we can solve that problem and learn to accept real human body types as they are, maybe we can then start changing children’s toys.