'Normal' Barbie based on average woman's measurements to combat

Topic of the Day

'Normal' Barbie based on average woman's measurements to combat eating disorders


(Yahoo! News) - If Barbie was made according to normal human proportions, she would be curvier, shorter, and twice her size. Her breasts would be significantly less perky, her bottom would be heavier and her legs much shorter.

Or from another perspective, if a Barbie doll was to be brought to life, she would have the grossly unrealistic body measurements of 36-18-33.

Real-life Barbie would be so disproportionate that she would likely have problems walking and possibly topple over from carrying an oversized bust on a stick-like frame.

She would also weigh just 49 kg, putting her BMI at 16.24, or the severely underweight category.

Photographer and visual artist Nickolay Lammcreated 3D computerized images of a typical Barbie doll scaled to life size and put her next to another doll scaled to the proportions of a healthy, regular 19-year-old teenager to show the drastic difference.

The illustrations are shocking and sobering - how could a Barbie doll, beloved toy of generations of young girls all over the world, be so far removed from what a real woman looks like?

Singaporean mothers who saw the photos were shocked and said that they had never noticed how unrealistic the doll's proportions were.

"I never stopped to notice that my daughter's Barbie dolls don't look like any actual human being. I guess I just saw them as toys, but now I do feel a bit worried, because my daughter does believe that Barbies look like the ideal woman," said teacher Leslie Tay, 32, whose daughter Lia owns at least five "princess" Barbie dolls.

"I think I will definitely be putting in more effort to educate her that Barbie dolls are not like real people and just pretty plastic things you dress up."

Marketing manager Sheren Ng, 35, bemoaned the lack of realistic looking dolls on sale for young girls.

"I buy my daughter Barbies because there aren't many other options, and I would rather buy my daughter a Barbie doll than the other brands, which can be even worse influences as they wear skimpy clothing and dark, adult looking makeup," said Mdm Ng.

She was referring to the dolls from the "Bratz" range, which wear tiny cropped tops, sexy shorts, dark eyeliner and skyscraper heels and have proportions which are as unrealistic as Barbie.

Other young women said that while they found the comparison interesting, they did not think much of Barbies affecting young girls and what they think is the perfect body type.

"We all grow up eventually and realise that Barbies aren't real," said civil servant Ong Rui Xin, 26, who grew up playing with Barbie and Ken dolls of her own.

"Anyway, kids these days are more influenced by K-pop idols and they have equally unrealistic bodies and faces achieved through plastic surgery - if I had a daughter I would be more worried about that."

What do you think? Would you let your daughters play with Barbie dolls, and do you think it could cause them to develop body image issues or that it's just an innocent toy?

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page