Barbie, one of the most controversial, yet beloved toy, has ruffled tail feathers again. Imgur user Eddi Aguirre has posted a picture of Barbie, but not like you know her. She has yellowed teeth with braces, frizzy hair, acne, dark under circles and un-dyed hair. Many claim that she is ugly, while others praise Barbie being represented in a more natural state. I believe that if this doll were marketed to girls and had the ability to dress up Barbie as their own, it would help with the negative stigma Barbie is so often associated with.
Barbie has been highly criticized over the numerous years due to her unrealistic proportions: she's 6 foot, with a 39” bust, 18” waist, and 33” hips. A life-sized Barbie was created with these proportions and looks oddly terrifying. Another image represents Barbie’s features drawn on a real life model; note her pointy chin and tiny neck, unable to support a head. Each of these images portray unrealistic beauty standards. Studies have shown that Barbie’s image has a negative effect on girls. Barbie and Ken have inspired people to go under the knife to try and mimic the look.
The new image of Barbie dressed down shows how girls can be portrayed in a more natural light. Obviously this artist made Barbie with acne and frizzy hair to make a statement. But if Mattel were to create a Barbie void of make-up and have the natural look, it wouldn't put so much emphasis on the make-up culture. If girls wanted to dress up Barbie, they would have the option to put make-up on her. If they wanted to have Barbie dress more androgynously, they could have that option. They should create a more natural Barbie (of all colors!) and make accessories. Now, they do that currently, but even a normal Barbie doll still has make-up. I'm only speaking for girls. Young boys do play with action figures that are extremely muscular. That might have had a negative effect on their image, but fewer studies have been done.
Some criticize that if you don't want Barbie to influence your child, then don't have the children play with the dolls. Unfortunately, even if you don't let your daughters play with Barbies, Barbies are at schools, the daughter’s friends’ houses, and all over television. You could have a child who hates dolls and Barbies (like me), but that’s a rarity. I would have rather played with stuffed animals and used my imagination than touch a doll.
The new natural Barbie may have been dramatized for natural features to make a statement, but Mattel should take the hint and create a more natural looking Barbie for girls to play and enjoy.