Body Image Barbie

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by christinacarmosino
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies

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Body Image Barbie

"Men are self-confident because they grow up identifying with super-heroes. Women have bad self-images because they grow up identifying with Barbie" (Rudner).

Barbie proportions compared to those of an average woman




Body Image Barbie

"Barbie is so pervasive in contemporary popular culture that she hardly requires description. At a glance, you could sum her up as blonde and busty...Launched onto the market by Mattel in 1959, Barbie was originally designed as a fashion doll for adults to buy. It was only later that she became popular as a toy for little girls" (Toffoletti 57).

The first Barbie doll was debuted in 1959. Since then, she has adopted numerous physical changes that followed societal standards of beauty at the time.

"If the model of female success and beauty has a tiny waist, long blonde hair and wears couture, then what does that tell us about how women are valued in society? Questions like these have dominated contemporary understandings of Barbie, whose iconic status as the perfect model of femininity has been largely criticised by academics as being detrimental to women and girls" (Toffoletti 59).

Almost every young girl in America has owned a Barbie doll in their lives. They are idolized as the epitome of the perfect body and femininty with a can-do attitude. Young girls to try to live up to unrealitstic expectations put upon them by this doll and often do not realize that Barbie's shape should not be emulated because it is impossible to achieve.

The probability of finding a real woman with the waist of a Barbie doll is one in 2.4 billion (Golgowski)


  • JoannKat 8 years ago

    JoannKat's avatar

    This is great, Christina. Wonderful sources and citations. Are those statistics about "average" sized woman recent? Just curious if this comes out to size 14-16...

    Looking forward to your presentation later.