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Barbie is the world’s most popular doll that sell over 1.5 billion every year. The doll is an icon of the ideal female beauty making it the role model for young girls. According to Helgar & Halliwell (193), 99% of the girls between the ages of 3-10 years in the US own at least one Barbie doll. Though popular, Barbie does not represent the realistic body features of a woman. The figure she represents and her characteristics have been a subject of study by many scholars due to the effect it has on young girls. It is to blame for low self-esteem among young girls, eating disorders in a bid to cut back on weight and ethnic stereotyping.
Barbie’s body proportions are unrealistic, unattainable, and unhealthy. Using the scale the 1/6 inches, Barbie is 6 feet tall weighing 100 pounds, and her sizes are 39-19-33 with a BMI of 16.5. If Barbie were a real human being, she would be 39% smaller than anorexic patients would (Ducille, 48). A woman being that underweight lacks fat necessary for menstruation to take place meaning she cannot even conceive. Young girls are fed with the thought that the perfect female body should be that thin. In a bid to attain that figure, the young girls subject themselves to unhealthy eating habits.
The Barbie figure is unattainable for any girl, which prompts many girls to be unhappy with their bodies. The girls possess negative thoughts about their bodies which results in low self-esteem and disordered eating. Children grow up with low self-esteem, which ultimately affects their performance in other areas. The unhealthy eating habits affect their health in general. Barbie has therefore contributed negatively in the growth of young girls by putting pressure on them to grow thin which leads to poor eating habits and low self-esteem because by any means her figure is only ideal and therefore unattainable.