There are many people who think Barbie dolls should be plus sized. That is the result of a recent informal poll of sorts. The Facebook page for Plus Size Modeling has become the focus of a virtual riot of attention this Christmas Season. The picture questioning the merits of a photo-shopped Barbie as a plus size model hit a nerve. Over 37,000 responses in less than a week indicate that Barbie is a symbol of something important and iconic. Changing Barbie is not going to go unnoticed.
Thousands of people on the Facebook page said something to this effect: “Get rid of the chins! Not all fat folk have multiple chins!”
Thousands more agreed that, “… it doesn’t matter if you are a Size 2 or a 32 … fashionable clothing belongs on everyone. ”
There were thousands of special requests for aesthetic adjustments to photo-shopped Barbie. In fact, Barbie could probably come in a dozen versions and still be popular.
However, in addition to the fun-loving side of the issue, there is also a serious side. Critics argue that fashion and entertainment industry representations of feminine images in toys, magazines, and movies tend to be unreal. This may have the effect of placing unreal demands on the impressionable minds of young women. It’s more than just taste, it might impact a girl’s tendency to become anorexic. Part of a girl’s mind compares and contrasts her own self-image with all the images shown in the media. For that reason alone, a diversity of doll sizes would be a more true-to-life offering.
Then again, one billion people cannot be all wrong. That’s how many Barbies have been sold around the world. Should they decide to make plus sized Barbie dolls, and make them in many different sizes? If so, then we could have billions and billions of Barbies floating around in the best of all possible worlds.
At Barbie.com a new Barbie featured on the landing site looks like a mash-up of Morgan Fairchild, the Bride of Frankenstein, and Tammy Faye Baker. What is that going to do to the mind of a child?
Sociologists say that when an issue affects two percent of the population in a country, then it is truly a social issue. Although 38,762 likes on a Facebook page in less than a week is not two percent of the nation, it definitely meets most criteria for going viral.
In fact, those same sociologists would probably say that Barbie is an ideal type of what we hold up as normal. So, the discussion about having a plus sized Barbie is highly significant, sociologically speaking. Put it this way, one would not expect to have heard such a lively discussion about beauty and all of its many forms in almost any other decade, say, in the 20th century.
It is a 21st century ideal to have the best diversity of all worlds. That is why Barbie in all shapes and sizes still captivates our attention. Gauging the emotionalism of responders, the number of people who love a plus size Barbie might even comprise some kind of silent majority.
Keep in mind, these are adults responding to this Facebook page – not 9-year-old girls. There are plenty of men responding as well – not just females. It seems that a viral tsunami’s worth of people have been carrying around various versions of the same repressed feelings for some time now.
There is no question about it. Ask people if they think Barbie dolls should be plus sized, and plenty are going to say yes. Indeed, plenty more will be happy to launch into great detail.
The Facebook page links to the Plus Size Modeling site. Here we are coached in the late breaking new fashion trend – plus size models. Apparently, the plus sized Barbie was created by the artist, Bakalia, and – not surprisingly – it was the winning entry in the 2011 Feeding Time 9 contest.
Barbie dolls, should they be plus sized? Over 38,000 people say ‘and how.’
By: Alex Durig