What Barbie Can Teach Us About Self Acceptance


There’s a new girl in town! Rumors of a new “natural Barbie doll” are spreading like wildfire. Instead of the tall and skinny typical Barbie, artists have taken the average measurements of women to create this doll that is much shorter and “fatter” than a typical Barbie doll.

Society puts so much pressure on women and even young girls to look a certain way, and I really think this new Barbie doll can send an alternate message: embrace yourself. Tv shows, magazines, movies and billboards can give girls and women the idea that they need to be skinny to be pretty or to feel comfortable.

Not too long ago I wrote an article for my old high school’s newspaper about a Barbie that was covered in tattoos. It seems as if Barbie is trying to cover all the bases when it comes to representing women in today’s society, which is a good thing, but why did it take this long for someone to come up with the idea for an “Average Barbie?”

I took a sociology class and when we came to a unit about media, I was shocked when my teacher showed us a Dove ad that highlighted how much work actually goes into making a model look “beautiful.” The model sits through hours and hours of hair and make-up and then the photo shoot. After the shoot there is even more time editing on the computer screen, including pulling the model’s face in to make it thinner, arching her brows with the click of the mouse and other unnecessary edits. It certainly couldn’t have made the model feel good to be edited, and it certainly made women in society feel inferior about their beauty. We live in a society where beautiful people get more attention whether they be models or actors, and it is nice for someone to create a doll that doesn’t look like it’s a model.

Social media seems to be a big factor in what society deems as beautiful. To society, a size zero is pretty, but for health, a size six or even 10 is a lot better. This new Barbie relates to women who aren’t celebrities and who live life under the radar.

However, sources say that the response to this new Barbie is mostly on the negative side, with people saying she looks sickly. We live in a tough society, and it’s beginning to be clear that people are never going to agree on what the “right” look is. People think the traditional Barbies are too pretty but the new average ones are ugly. While this Barbie looks extremely natural with acne and what looks like bags under her eyes, the message the doll sends is still a good one.

I love the idea of this new Barbie, and I only hope that they make more of her so little girls can grow up knowing they don’t have to be perfect in society’s eyes.

By: Katie Johns | Image: Source

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