Should There Be a Plus-Size Barbie? Let the Body Image Debates Begin
Should plus-size Barbies be a thing? We complain about the sea of stick-thin models giving girls unrealistic expectations about their bodies, but what about their stick-thin toys? A plus-size modeling website is asking whether toy companies should make a plus size Barbie in order to reflect the body diversity out there.
The design originally comes from an illustration contest on Worth1000.com, a website which runs creative contests ranging from Photoshop to writing. The plus size Barbie image, created by artist bakalia, won the "Feeding Time 9" contest.
The Plus-Size-Modeling.com post is generating quite a debate. Some commenters applaud the push for body diversity while others, predictably, complain and argue that this represents an unhealthy glorification of obesity. Everyone pretty much agrees that the chins are ridiculous and need to go.
Commenter Michelle Ashworth summed up a general mood surrounding the post. "Why not have a realistically proportioned Barbie that promotes healthy diet and exercise?" she wrote. Actually, artist Nicoklay Lamm of MyDeals.com has already shown us what a real Barbie would look like using CDC measurements of an average 19-year-old woman. Turns out, she looks pretty good:
The Barbie this plus-size modeling site promotes doesn't need to be the only Barbie, but she would certainly be worth making (minus all those unrealistic chins). It's a safe bet that, given that no one actually looks like her, the original Barbie isn't doing much to promote a healthy body image. Instead, we need a diversity of toys to reflect the diversity of bodies out there.