Thursday, March 6, 2014


Recently I came across article on making Barbie dolls look more realistic. A Pittsburg artist has created a doll based on the measurements of an average 19 year old from the Centers for Disease Control.
Are you ready for it? Here is my rant about this "everyone hates Barbie" era.

First of all, obviously I have a special place in heart for Barbie. Although my real name is Barbara, everyone has called me Barbie since I was born. Yes, I am always asked to repeat my name and I have been made fun of a lot for it, but It is my name I have decided to keep it as an adult.

I grew up playing with Barbie's and I never once as a child thought to myself "I wish I looked like my Barbie" or "I should look like my Barbie, she's so skinny and perfect". I thought Barbie was beautiful and loved dressing her up in glamorous outfits. I had a book of all the different Barbie's that existed since Barbie was created. Barbie has been an astronaut, a teacher, a doctor, a bride, a babysitter, a tennis player, a flight attendant, a business woman, a presidential candidate, etc. etc. (to see the complete list visit She was a figure to look up to, not because she was beautiful and skinny, but because she was unashamed to be feminine and she could be anything I could imagine wanting to be.

PS Perhaps Barbie was designed with skinny legs and hips so that it would be easier to slide her clothing on? Food for thought.
Where have my body issues come from? Well I attribute my insecurities to many a different sources, but Barbie is not one of them. For the record, I am only 4'11" and I am not going to share my weight with you, but let's just say I'm on the curvy side.

Obviously, our world had issues with body image, before Barbie was created. Who do you think Barbie was modeled after? Could it be some of the Hollywood celebrities that we see all over the media? Hollywood and media has had HUGE influence on our world's body image issues.

Perhaps, my body image issues stem back to the 5th grade. My breasts began to develop before the other girls in my class, and everyone was wearing spaghetti strap tanks, but I had to call my mom to bring me a T-shirt to wear because I was inappropriate. Maybe that made me feel self conscious about having a different body from my classmates.

I am a dancer. I have grown up standing in front of a mirror in a leotard next to 20 other girls. I do not have a "dancer's body".  I have had to change in a locker room for PE in front of other girls, from 6th grade all the way through college. Comparison happened then--not as a 7 year old playing with my Barbie.

When I go into a store I cannot just try on anything and wear it as soon as I get it. I have to get almost everything hemmed. By the time I find a top large enough to modestly cover my chest, the sleeves are too long and the shoulders are baggy. Unless I am wearing a turtle neck, I will have cleavage. I cannot wear anything strapless or with skinny straps because then I have to wear a strapless bra, which does nothing. And with a size 5 foot, it's pretty hard to find any shoe that isn't pink with velcro.

I have lived my whole life, comparing my body to the "average 19 year old's measurements"--not Barbie.

So please--quit hating the world because of what people are telling you is the cause of your problem. Know that we are all created to be unique and beautiful in our own way, and that realistically, no one worth a damn expects you too look like Barbie.


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