What Could A Healthy fashion Doll Do For Our Young Girls’ Sense of Self-Esteem? -Vol.259, May 29, 2014
A very interesting article was written by Michaeleen Doucleff in Shots Health New From NPR on April 4, 2014 called Could A ‘Barbie’ Get Real? What A Healthy Fashion Doll Looks Like. Though there aren’t many studies that point to “Barbie’ as a negative influence on the body image of young girls, it is well known that the proportions of the doll are of inhumane dimensions. For a real person to have Barbie’s body she would have to grow about 5 inches and trim 17 inches from her waist and slim her neck by 6 inches.
Artist Nicolay Lamm has decided it was about time something was done to correct this problem of unrealistic physical expectations being placed in young girls minds. He has decided to create a doll that would represent what an average sized person would look like. According to the article Lamm said that he was inspired to create such a doll as one of his young female cousins was afraid to put on a bathing suit thinking she was fat. In his opinion she is not fat at all. When Lamm went to the toy store to see the physical forms of the dolls that were being sold, he realized where this unrealistic expectation was coming from and decided to create his own more realistic rendition.
A small study was done by psychologist Aurora Sherman at Oregon State Unversity on the impact of the Barbie Doll on girls’s career ambitions. The findings are rather interesting. Given a Barbie doll she found that the 37 girls ages 4-7 thought that boys could do 2.5 more jobs than girls after five minutes of playing with Barbie. Compare that to 5 minutes of play with Mr. Potato Head and the same 37 girls didn’t distinguish differences between the jobs that girls and boys could do.
One other interesting bit of information regarding the design of the Barbie Doll is that it was designed after a German sex toy with a few “nicks and tucks” as stated in the article over the past five decades.
I am glad that someone has finally decided to add a bit of reality back to the dolls girls play with, though it is sad to realize it took five decades to get the deed done.
Parents can instill a good sense of self-esteem into their girls by:
1. Letting them know that they are beautiful, whole and complete just as they are.
2. Spend much more time giving positive feed back then negative.
3.Never tell your child to eat everything on the plate.
4. Give your child compliments on how she looks especially if she has taken the time to make herself look nice.
It cost nothing to do these things and can make a huge difference in how your young girl grows to appreciate herself as she grows up.
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