Barbie = Real Life?

Alan Smyth —  May 19, 2014 — 3 Comments

I grew up playing with GI-Joes. I had all the accessories. I had the jeep, raft & helicopter as well as all the GI-Joe weapons. They battled relentlessly against each other in my mind and in my living room. I even set them up outside and lobbed fire crackers at them as we secured the beach head! Growing up in a family with only boys, I never experienced the “other side.” I was only slightly aware of Barbie dolls and imagined little girls dressing them up and changing their outfits over and over. I guess that was fun for girls? I needed a little more action for my dolls. I doubt many little girls were lobbing fire crackers at their den of Barbie’s in order to secure an important victory on the battle field.

Barbie 1

Now that I am co-authoring this blog and have collaborated on a book focused on fathers raising daughters, I have become more aware and interested in the environment surrounding our girls. A friend recently passed along some interesting facts on the Barbie doll.

*Barbie was invented in 1959 and there are two Barbie dolls sold every second.

*The target market for Barbie is girls age 3-12

*A girl gets her first Barbie at age 3 and collects a total of 7 dolls

*If Barbie was an actual woman, she would be 5’9” tall, have a 39” bust, 18” waist, 33” hips and a size 3 shoe.

*Barbie calls this this “full figure” and likes her weight at 110 lbs.

*At 5’9” tall and weighing 110 lbs., Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia. She likely would not menstruate.

*Slumber party Barbie was introduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs. with a book entitled “How to Lose Weight” with directions inside stating simply “Don’t eat.”

Barbie 2

Am I somehow against Barbie Dolls? Absolutely NOT.  This blog is not about crusading against anything in particular. It is meant to encourage, inspire and bring awareness to important issues. If anything, you should probably go out and purchase a Barbie. Use it as a teaching tool for your daughter. Use it as a tangible example of what is NOT real and let that help you calibrate your daughter’s expectations. (And your sons for that matter)

Please Dad’s, stay vigilant in the environment around your daughter. Focus on interpreting the messages she receives every single day. You can point to things with a chuckle and say, “Can you believe that? That’s not even real!” Speak truth to your daughter as often as possible.

Press On

Alan Smyth

PS: Dr. Don Worcester, co-author of this blog has extensive experience and expertise in the area of eating dis orders. You can go to our website to get his contact information if you are in need of some deeper conversation on this topic. Look under “Site contributors” at www.myfatherdaughter.com

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Alan Smyth

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I have been married to Sharon for 33 years. We have two kids, Brittany (29) and Trevor (25) I am the Senior Vice President for Saving Innocence. I have a passion for my family and have learned a few things along the way.

3 responses to Barbie = Real Life?

  1. Yes! Love this. I actually saw this a few days ago and found it pretty impacting. For me, Barbie and Vanna White (ha) were my aesthetic idols.
    http://thefw.com/barbie-average-siz-woman/?utm_content=buffer0def3&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

    This is also pretty interesting:
    http://rachelmariestone.com/evolving-skinny-toys/

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