Thick or Thin, Barbie Can’t Win

Recently, Cosmopolitan published an article regarding the possibility of a “plus size Barbie” doll to market to girls. Since the standard Barbie has come under scrutiny in the last few years for setting unrealistic beauty standards, this doll could be a way for girls to see another side of beauty. I am all for this idea, however…

Overall, the doll looks like Barbie, except she is thicker in the arms, legs, and has a wider waist. She does have a more realistic shape, and there are curves. But then her face has…three chins.

It’s not that the number of chins that bothers me. They just look completely out of proportion with the rest of the body. I am built much like this doll (as many women are), and there is no way we would have three chins! I am purely speculating here, but is this another message of one cannot be “beautiful” if we have a little extra? Why does this Barbie have a thicker, curvier shape and then her face is off balance?

This little controversy reminds me of the recent problems Target and H&M faced by using either pregnant or medium sized models to promote their plus size department. Even though both retailers have apologized for the advertisements and removed them, there is still a lingering feeling that retailers, manufacturers, and designers still have a fear of “plus size.” Just like with our childhood friend Barbie, the views of what is “plus size” are still warped and not quite realistic.

The two "Barbies."

The two “Barbies.”



One thought on “Thick or Thin, Barbie Can’t Win

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