I have really been enjoying the Mothers and Daughters in Touch course that Eden and I have been taking on Wednesday evenings. I saw a video today and it reminded me of our class last week on body image. This video is not unlike the message in the Dove Videos on body image. It does a speed enhanced video of a model preparing for a photo shoot. It is so sad to think that they take a beautiful young lady, like the model in the video, and distort everything thing to create a photo that it completely unrealistic. Check out Body Evolution below to see how dramatically photo shop can alter an image. What message does it give our daughters?
What You Didn’t Know About Barbie?
This video also reminded me of some of the facts that our facilitator shared about Barbie. I was able to find an article on dailymail.co.uk which highlighted many disturbing facts about Barbie’s body and how impossible it would be for a woman to ever have her proportions. (I believe that the original source may have been rehabs.com and I have referenced it below.) Here are some highlights from the Daily Mail article:
- Did you know that in real life Barbie would have a 16″ waist and that only 1 in 2.4 billion would have the same waist size and likely be suffering from a severe eating disorder?
- Did you know that her 16″ waist would be 6″ thinner than her head?
- Did you know that Barbie would be forced to walk on all fours because her 3.5″ wrists and her 6″ ankles couldn’t support her own body weight?
- Did you know that only 1 woman in a crowd of 638,531 people would have hips equal in size to that of Barbie’s 29″ hips?
- Did you know that you would have to search through a crowd of well over 3 million to find a human being with the same waist to hip ratio as Barbie?
This quote was taken from an incredible article written on rehabs.com:
The Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders has calculated how much an average healthy woman’s body would have to change in order for her to have the proportions of a Barbie doll.
They found that women would have to grow two feet taller, extend their neck length by 3.2 inches, gain 5 inches in chest size, and lose 6 inches in waist circumference. No woman could ever hope to achieve such impossible dimensions, and yet young girls are shown that this is a body to emulate.
The rehabs.com article also states that 42% of girls between the ages of 6 and 10 wish they were thinner and many are beginning to diet before they can even spell the word. Check-out their Barbie Infographic below and click on the image to visit the site to read the article and check-out the other charts and tables.
I know many of us grew-up playing with Barbies and I am in no way saying “ban the Barbies”. Eden was never really into Barbies, but definitely received a few new ones as gifts, as well as a whole set that was passed on to her from her older cousins. We ended up garage selling them as she was never really into dolls of any sort. Having said that, I did not discourage Barbies or her playing with them at the time. I knew that Barbie portrayed the image of what many esteem to be “perfection”, but had no idea what a “fraud” that image was until recently. I believe that knowledge is power and perhaps this knowledge will enable you to make informed choices for the little girls in your life. At the very least, it is interesting information to share with young girls, so that they know the truth behind the doll. Who knew??
Three cheers to all of the women and young girls who love themselves for who they are and are completely comfortable in their own skin!
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