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Author Topic: Family: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?  (Read 7343 times)

Sage

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2014, 11:28:57 am »
Quote from: britbeauty;136080
Could there not be a all natural average sized barbie? Or does she have to be this dolled up (mind the pun!) below average blonde girl? I think if the media wants to promote a healthy lifestyle and way of living, then they should make this.

 
The thing is, there is no one "all natural" body shape because all body shapes are natural. You can have a healthy lifestyle (which is a very, very vague term and tends to favor able-bodied individuals with time and money to burn) regardless of weight.

Bring on the fat Barbies, I say. I want to see hips and fat curves and a proper butt and those flappy underarm wing things. I want to see a fat Barbie dressing however she likes and doing just as many things as the original Barbie, from owning a dream home to being an astronaut.
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PrincessAstrid

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2014, 03:42:35 pm »
Quote from: Sage;136145
The thing is, there is no one "all natural" body shape because all body shapes are natural. You can have a healthy lifestyle (which is a very, very vague term and tends to favor able-bodied individuals with time and money to burn) regardless of weight.

Bring on the fat Barbies, I say. I want to see hips and fat curves and a proper butt and those flappy underarm wing things. I want to see a fat Barbie dressing however she likes and doing just as many things as the original Barbie, from owning a dream home to being an astronaut.

 
I would have killed for an awesome fat Barbie as a kid once I started putting on weight.

Due to health problems, I was really underweight as a child. I couldn't tolerate most foods and this caused me to be an exceptionally picky eater. When I started to be able to actually eat like a "normal" person (something other than rice and the occasional piece of meat or potato), my father kind of worry-wart overfed me all the time. He was terrified of my ever being underweight again. He saw it as such a failure on his part as a parent that one of his children had not only been underweight, but dangerously so. So I gained weight, and a lot of it, because as far as he was concerned, a fat daughter who was happy and enjoying things was better than a skinny one who couldn't run around or play because she was too tired from not being able to eat.

However, my mother didn't agree with him. The second I became "too fat" for her tastes, she started talking about diets and how I was fat. She told me I was fat at least once a week, starting when I was ten all the way up until last year when I finally told her to leave me alone and that she was the reason I have so many body issue problems. I've lost a lot of weight since my teens due to health issues, again. I'm having a lot of trouble tolerating a lot of foods. But because I'm an adult now (going to be 24 this year), I have the ability to actually make logical decisions about what will and what won't make me sick. I can control how fast this weight comes off and hopefully once I get this whole eating thing down even better, I can stop the weight loss.

I hate that people tell me "Oh, you look so wonderful now that you've lost weight!" Yeah, maybe I do look prettier. And I have lost 120lbs, so some of that DID need to go since it was hell on my joints, but are they somehow not seeing that my hair keeps falling out? Or that I'm tired all the time? Or that I'm sick all the time? Losing weight is not the end to a lot of people's problems. It's just the beginning, for some of us. Or is the result of a problem that was there.

If I'd had a Barbie that was 'overweight', or any doll that was, when I was a kid, putting on all that weight, it would have been so much easier to just agree with my father instead of letting my mother's words get to me. I wouldn't have so many issues with my body and I would have searched for help regarding the rapid weight loss/stomach problems a lot sooner than I did once it came back in my late teens.

It's not about how one promotes unhealthy stereotypes. It's about protecting kids like I was. Or the little girl down the street. Or that one kid in class who's always been bigger, and always will be. Or your niece or nephew, who's rail thin and can't help it. It's about them all having something to look up to and to be told "It's okay to be like this. You didn't do this to yourself."

My father recently apologized to me about "making me fat". I told him I didn't resent him, didn't blame him, and wasn't angry. That what he did, he did out of love and worry, and that I was happy despite my weight. There was nothing wrong with me being fat as an early teen, except for how other people made me feel about that. And that's the part we have to change.

Now I'm a "more normal" weight. I'm still "fat" according to doctors, but I'm the healthiest I've ever been in my life. I'm still chronically ill, and always will be regardless of my weight, but it's manageable now that I know how to take care of myself.

And I still don't have a doll I can look up to and tell me "It's okay".

rayb87

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2014, 10:29:12 am »
Quote from: yewberry;134964
I'm one of those weirdos who really, really loves cardio and hates weight training.  I can walk a 14-minute mile without blinking an eye, but please, please, please don't make me lift heavy things for no reason!

Brina

 
hahah "lift heavy things for no reason", thanks for making me feel stupid now:D ;)

yewberry

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #48 on: February 26, 2014, 03:12:25 pm »
Quote from: rayb87;140971
hahah "lift heavy things for no reason", thanks for making me feel stupid now:D ;)

Well, my elliptical is pretty stupid, too. It's just that I can watch movies while I'm using it.  That's much, much harder with weight training (changing positions and all that).  If I could get out of my head/body a little with weight training, I'd probably like it just as much.

ETA:  In short, it's a preference, not a value judgement.

Brina
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 03:13:11 pm by yewberry »

dionysiandame

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2014, 03:51:13 pm »
Quote from: Castus;134702
I wasn't aware that I was being judgmental, but then again those who are judgmental are only rarely cognizant of being so. I had tried to aim for saying that there is no actual normal weight, but it seems I missed. As for saying that science has "proven that fat is bad" not only did I never say such a thing, but I took care to say that being fat isn't inherently unhealthy. But being fat does, to the best of my medical knowledge, carry significant health risks. This is what I've been told by my doctor, by the classes at school, by my aunt who is an RN, and by my parents who are both EMT paramedics. I'm not saying that there is a normal, but there is something that is perceived as normal and that is, personally, an image I aspire to. If someone is fat and happy then they should feel free to continue being so, and if they're not then I recommend trying to do something about it.

In sum: Being fat carries health risks, being fat in and of itself is not unhealthy, there is a difference between an ideal medically-prescribed weight (which shifts based on personal variables) and a socially-prescribed idea of "normal" and beauty, and really people can be whatever the hell shape they want as long as they are happy.

 
And I actually get what you're saying. At my heaviest I've been 50 lbs over my recommeded body weight based on my age, height, muscle mass etc (From unhealthy life style choices. I'm not going to fake like it wasn't isn't/wasn't.) From my own experience more of my issues stemmed from being overweight than under. This includes Sciatic nerve problems, digestion problems, issues with insomnia, lymph drainage, metabolism, etc. When I am overweight, not hydrating and nourishing my body properly, not hitting the trails, ignoring my kettle bells and yoga, etc my physical body suffers.

My energy levels, emotional state, and quality of sleep also suffer.

Implying my weight had/has no effect what-so-ever to issues clearly linked to said weight would be me lying to myself and if someone comes to me with similar issues and experiences I'm not going to lie to them for the sake of the occasional "one-off" who it might not apply to. It gets old having to put disclaimers before "take a walk, do some beginner poses, and have some avocado on that burger instead of mayo."

That said, I had Barbies as a child and I was ambivalent toward them. I'm ambivalent toward both dolls now. If I had children I wouldn't be buying them dolls in the first place so I might be the worst person to ask.

All in all, other people's bodies aren't my business. Live your life and do you.
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dionysiandame

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #50 on: February 26, 2014, 03:52:16 pm »
Quote from: rayb87;140971
hahah "lift heavy things for no reason", thanks for making me feel stupid now:D ;)

 
I like to put on some Amon Amarth and pretend I'm preparing for an upcoming raid. It makes me feel less goofy with all the grunting. :D:
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dionysiandame

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2014, 04:01:18 pm »
Quote from: PrincessAstrid;137037


And I still don't have a doll I can look up to and tell me "It's okay".


Wait...we're using dolls for this? I grew up with nothing but white Barbies. It wasn't the Barbies that made me hate my naturally kinky hair and dark skin, it was the little girls I went to school with whose parents (guardians, whatever) didn't teach them that people come in different shades with different textures of dead skin cells on their heads.

And it certainly wasn't black barbies that taught me black is beautiful but real women like Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Bell Hooks, etc.

I'm not saying that this whole doll thing is ridiculous, I'm saying it might be one of many symptoms of some deeper issues; like adults relying on inaminate objects to bestow senses of worth and identity to their children.
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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2014, 04:20:28 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;141013
I like to put on some Amon Amarth and pretend I'm preparing for an upcoming raid. It makes me feel less goofy with all the grunting. :D:


In my school years I was the typical ballerina - rail thin and all muscle. Now I'm a sturdier rail, but a rail still. And it's nobody's business what music I dance to.

Perspective: Ready made clothes sizes were standardised in the UK in 1948. Even though there were still food shortages and the good stuff, like butter and sugar, was rationed, the average woman was understood to be a size 14, which I think means a US size 10. How did we go from that to considering size 4 'plus' in half a century?
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Leirion

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2014, 06:25:06 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;134560
Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?

See the photo and read more: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/plus-size-barbie-should-dolls-reflect-real-world-body-types-1.1609453#ixzz2p4ohg8vx

Although the doll is out, the question is still a vaild one.  Does it give childern the idea that being big is ok?, Does it promote accecptance of ones self and others?  Or does it promote an unhealthy body image?


I would have LOVED having a plus sized Barbie doll as a kid!

I have always been fat. I got picked on for it by my classmates, but even moreso by my teachers and doctors. My PE teacher pulled me aside and, in front of the class, asked me what my excuse was for being fat.

My doctors growing up attributed EVERYTHING to my weight, down to ear infections. When I came to my primary care physician complaining about pain in my back, he immediately told me it was because of my weight and I should have my stomach stapled, which he got me pamphlets and contact information for. I, of course, demanded a referral for X-rays, which turned into an MRI, whereupon they found a benign tumor in my back that could be hitting a nerve. (I also have chronic pain issues, because my entire body is COVERED in muscle knots).

My mother would tell me I looked okay, but then constantly put me on and off diets without warning, and I was actually malnourished because all we ate was fast food and junk food. I was also told constantly that my mother did not know if we would be able to afford food next week, which was really stressful.

I felt AWFUL about my body, and was so convinced I was so ugly, that nobody could ever possibly love me. Thanks to my partner now, though, not only do I not feel bad for myself as a previous poster mentioned...a lot of the time, I feel really good about how I look. Yes, I have my bad days with it, but doesn't everyone?

And as a side note, I have trouble losing weight due to medical reasons, my childhood environment, and stress levels in my life. I eat pretty healthy, and just this past Saturday I walked over 8 miles with no ill effects other than some chaffing from my shoes. I routinely lift 25-50 lb bags up steep flights of stairs. So it is not like I am unfit or just sit on the couch all day.

Also, I am tired of the whole "normal" body thing. I have trouble finding clothing in my size even in stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid because most of them assume I must have huge shoulders and a large chest size - I do not. I also do not have a double chin, like that picture of the Barbie has. Not that there is anything wrong with those things, it is just the stereotyping of it all.

So, I am in the camp that you can still be absolutely gorgeous and be fat. And I think having a doll available would go a long ways towards making that concept more okay in our society.

Flame

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2014, 06:38:09 pm »
Quote from: britbeauty;136080
Could there not be a all natural average sized barbie? Or does she have to be this dolled up (mind the pun!) below average blonde girl? I think if the media wants to promote a healthy lifestyle and way of living, then they should make this.

 
http://cdn.visualnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Nickolay-Lamm-Barbie-7.jpg Someone remade a barbie doll to average proportions. I actually really really like it.

Aiwelin

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2014, 08:08:26 pm »
Quote from: Flame;141036
http://cdn.visualnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Nickolay-Lamm-Barbie-7.jpg Someone remade a barbie doll to average proportions. I actually really really like it.

 
That's really amazing.  I feel something like that - if they were at least as present as Barbie in the toy aisle - would go a long way to helping alleviate some body issues in very young children.

My oldest daughter (6) has never expressed a desire to be thinner, thank the deities, but she is very focused on her hair.  She has very thick brown curls, but all she wants is straight blonde hair; in her own words "just like Barbie".  We don't even have any in the house, but it's such a pervasive beauty ideal that even a six year old picks up on it.  Ugh.
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Aiwelin

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2014, 08:10:45 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;141015
Wait...we're using dolls for this? I grew up with nothing but white Barbies. It wasn't the Barbies that made me hate my naturally kinky hair and dark skin, it was the little girls I went to school with whose parents (guardians, whatever) didn't teach them that people come in different shades with different textures of dead skin cells on their heads.

And it certainly wasn't black barbies that taught me black is beautiful but real women like Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Bell Hooks, etc.

I'm not saying that this whole doll thing is ridiculous, I'm saying it might be one of many symptoms of some deeper issues; like adults relying on inaminate objects to bestow senses of worth and identity to their children.

I'd be interested to hear more about your childhood experiences - especially how your parent(s) handled your feelings about your appearance.  I'm trying very hard to impress upon my daughters all the natural beauty they have, but as I said above, my oldest often wishes she looked more like everybody else.  I totally understand if you'd rather not talk about it, but I'd love to get some ideas if possible :)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 08:11:28 pm by Aiwelin »
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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #57 on: March 25, 2014, 05:07:30 pm »
Quote from: Aiwelin;141067
That's really amazing.  I feel something like that - if they were at least as present as Barbie in the toy aisle - would go a long way to helping alleviate some body issues in very young children.

My oldest daughter (6) has never expressed a desire to be thinner, thank the deities, but she is very focused on her hair.  She has very thick brown curls, but all she wants is straight blonde hair; in her own words "just like Barbie".  We don't even have any in the house, but it's such a pervasive beauty ideal that even a six year old picks up on it.  Ugh.

 
My six year old daughter has the exact same hair and is always nagging me to straighten it.  However she has just discovered the Disney film Brave - and now she loves her curls.

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Re: Plus-size Barbie: Should dolls reflect real-world body types?
« Reply #58 on: March 26, 2014, 09:26:41 pm »
Quote from: Flame;141036
http://cdn.visualnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Nickolay-Lamm-Barbie-7.jpg Someone remade a barbie doll to average proportions. I actually really really like it.

 
I really really like that too. It just seems...more right to me, if you get what I mean.

I wish somebody'd come out with that when I was younger. I might've actually shown an interest in playing with Barbie instead of hiding her in a drawer and tying it shut with a shoelace.

Yep. I was scared of my Barbie. Needless to say it never came out of the drawer.
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