Barbie Dolls, Makeovers & Body Image

I have got to say that I was more than tickled when I saw the artist Nickolay Lamm’s very creative makeover of Barbie. Hey listen. I played with Barbie for years and never realized that her body was unrealistic and that I would later become a psychologist who would shun Barbie dolls because of the unrealistic depiction of the female body. No, I do not think that playing with dolls that have unrealistic body proportions can possibly be good for the body image of young women everywhere. I have one other confession to make however. My mother used to make the most adorable sundresses for my Barbies and I wish that I could locate those cute little outfits. Oh well.

Okay, back to the matter or should I say the Barbie at hand. Barbie has been given a more realistic makeover not by Mattel but by Nickolay Lamm who is an artist and blogger. In Lamm’s depiction of Barbie he has changed her make-up and her body proportions and she still looks pretty good. And, all the while our teens are trying to whittle away at their bodies to look more like the actual Barbie doll including tiny waist, the infamous “thigh gap” and the always unblemished skin.

Look, by the time teen girls are 18-80% of them dislike their bodies. It is rare for me to meet a teen girl who loves her body. I say-let’s make our dolls-especially Barbie look a little more realistic. Maybe she can even have a string that if you pull on it makes her gain and lose five pounds. Perhaps, she can have another string that if pulled makes her a little bloated for a few days. Now, that would be realistic.

What do you say, parents and teens, anyone for a “Pull-Her-Strings” Barbie?