shape
carat
color
clarity

Finally, Barbies with more-realistic bodies!

Jambalaya

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I don't really have the ability to convey somewhat complex thoughts in writing very well, but perhaps another way to say what I mean is this:

Adults make unfair, questionable choices based on shallow things like beauty all the time, in all manner of ways. Why is only our doll-making getting heat? I chose the dog thing as an illustration because I think it's a good example of making choices based purely on beauty. And children observe the choices adults make.

If I had a child, I would get a non-traditionally-cute dog and she/he would get to know what a wonderful personality the dog had and it would be a good lesson that looks don't matter. I think that would be a better lesson than denying him/her an original barbie (if they happened to really want one of those).
 

Jambalaya

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The dog-beauty thing is a little bugbear of mine. I listen to people (particularly one friend) talking about how much they'd love a dog and it's always some perfect retriever or spaniel or cute little white dog, and I start thinking, "You only want that type of dog for its looks" and then I start feeling really sorry for all the non-traditionally-cute dogs out there who don't get nice homes.

ETA: just received my copy of TIME magazine. The barbie thing is the lead story and on the front cover. I'll read it tonight.
 

Niel

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Jambalaya|1454185134|3984256 said:
I don't really have the ability to convey somewhat complex thoughts in writing very well, but perhaps another way to say what I mean is this:

Adults make unfair, questionable choices based on shallow things like beauty all the time, in all manner of ways. Why is only our doll-making getting heat? I chose the dog thing as an illustration because I think it's a good example of making choices based purely on beauty. And children observe the choices adults make.

If I had a child, I would get a non-traditionally-cute dog and she/he would get to know what a wonderful personality the dog had and it would be a good lesson that looks don't matter. I think that would be a better lesson than denying him/her an original barbie (if they happened to really want one of those).

I guess to that I would say, most places advise you not to bug a dog based on looks but instead on personality. People may still do it, but anyone who knows about dogs, or any pets really, will tell you not to but a dog based on looks. I completely agree though, you shouldn't buy a dog specifically because of the way it looks.
 

Jambalaya

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Niel - I'm up to my ears in chores but I had a quick glance at the TIME magazine article about the new Barbie and it said one study showed that girls who owned Barbies had more body issues than girls who didn't. And I think it said something about this applying to girls under 10 (but would have to check that last part).

I only looked quickly so I'm not sure of the study's validity, but it must have been a respectable one to be quoted in TIME magazine, you'd think. If the study is legit then obviously I am wrong about the dolls not having too much influence.

I'm really not sure about why they seemed to have less influence on my generation. Perhaps it's all a perfect storm of modern culture: aggressive marketing, unattainable standards of beauty in the media, and stores like that one who only employs models as sales associates (can't remember its name).

Now if only we could get all the unloved, non-traditionally-cute dogs adopted!
 

UrsTx

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I'll buy one if their thighs rub together when they walk. Then I know it's modeled after someone real - me. :lol:
 

kenny

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Niel|1454183231|3984232 said:
As for bears, again, I'll go back to my point about robots; children dont grow up to become, or choose to emulate bears.

Well, fortunately :naughty: a few boys do. :bigsmile:



Sorry, couldn't resist. :Up_to_something:

screen_shot_2016-01-30_at_3.png
 

kenny

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Jambalaya|1454182385|3984219 said:
The other thing I'm saying is that why is it bad to desire original Barbie (if you do - bad for "one" to desire original Barbie, I mean) but it's OK to choose a pet based on looks? .

Pets are not starving themselves (sometimes to death) to reach impossible body standards that are thrust upon them by all forms of media and entertainment ... oh and by doll makers.

Some humans are.
 

Jambalaya

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But we teach children to hold strong against the veritable snowstorm of conservative, traditionally "thin and beautiful" media images by giving them a range of Barbie types, and then as adults we go out and choose all the "thin and pretty" dogs that are considered traditionally beautiful! That's not exactly modeling consistency of values.

You know, perhaps another way to say what I mean is this: I think adults are hypocrites. Women spend God knows how much on dieting products and services in order to be thin and then we tell children that curvy barbie is as attractive as thin barbie. We don't mean it. If we did, no one would be doing the Cabbage Diet or the Dukan Diet or whatever other fad diet craze tells them to cut out essential food groups and restrict their nutrition in order to lose weight.

In grade school we tell children not to be selfish, to think of others, and many other essential life lessons regarding the importance of considering others.

Then adults turn round and backstab others at work, let friends down, and generally oftentimes behave in completely selfish ways.

I think adults need to fix themselves while we're fixing barbie.
 

packrat

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I think adults need to worry about fixing themselves *before* worrying about "fixing" a toy. If people *really* didn't want to see Kardashians, (or whatever/whomever) they wouldn't be so newsworthy. The number of people I see that moan and groan about them-and then turn around and buy the magazines, watch the shows etc etc..If we *really* didn't care what goes on, they'd disappear. Too many people care. It sells. If it didn't, it wouldn't be pushed in our faces all the time. So rather than work on fixing society, we worry about a toy. It's no different to me than blaming a song or a type of music or a musical artist, for someone committing suicide, or committing a crime against others. We as a society don't want to take any blame on our own shoulders, or accept any responsibility..we would much rather point fingers at anything else we can, it's easier to deflect than to accept.

I agree, it's nice to see a toy that resembles you. But seriously, do we really *need* 11,000 different barbies to choose from? B/c *someone* is going to be left out and if it's not fair for one, it stands to reason it's not fair to all. I've never in 41 years found anything w/Missi on it. Not even Missie. I can find Melissa. But I can also find fulfillment in my life from other things. Nobody needs to have a coke with Missi. Not even a coke w/Missie. They can have a coke w/Melissa and that will be fine.
 

arkieb1

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Here is what the children themselves say about the new more "realistic" Barbies;

A 6-year-old girl giving voice for the first time to curvy Barbie sings in a testing room at Mattel’s headquarters. Her playmates erupt in laughter.

When an adult comes into the room and asks her if she sees a difference between the dolls’ bodies, she modifies her language. “This one’s a little chubbier,” she says. Girls in other sessions are similarly careful about labels. “She’s, well, you know,” says an 8-year-old as she uses her hands to gesture a curvier woman. A shy 7-year-old refuses to say the word fat to describe the doll, instead spelling it out, “F, a, t.”


I am all for more realistic body depictions particularly in women's magazines and with toys too, but it might take the children themselves a while when we live in a society that places so much emphasis on looks and on wanting to aspire to be like TV stars as role models rather than say a Nobel Prize winner. I can see some children playing with and labelling the dolls, "fat Barbie" because that is what 5, 6, and 7 year olds do they don't mean to but that is the child like way they think about labelling something, big or small, short or tall, fat or thin. And perhaps that is what we the adults and we as a society need to stop teaching them - to stop judging people on how they look and applying labels to them....

I have a foot in each side with this one on the one hand if we lived in a non judgemental world it would be wonderful but on the flip side I wonder if it's not just another example of political correctness out of control. Kids play with a range of toys, they use their imaginations, they don't all suddenly aspire to be exactly like the toy, and if we assume all little girls that played or play with Barbies want to look like her then we really don't think very much about the intelligence or creative imaginations of our children at all IMHO.
 

packrat

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I remember when we first got the Wii and were making our characters, when I stepped on it, words on the screen flashed like.."ooh!" "goodness!" or something like that, and I watched my person balloon out. I looked at my husband and he was like "wow, that's a bit of a knock to the esteem". And he didn't even want to stand on it, but he did, and then remarked about how he'd like to punch the Wii in the face. I know I'm overweight and it's not really fun to be reminded of it. If I was 10 and overweight and was brought an overweight Barbie, and my thin friend had the thin Barbie..might that not put in my mind "oh, ok, that's how I'm perceived. I'm overweight" Rather than teaching kids to look past the exterior, we're more focused on it now than ever..when we're saying we're trying to include everyone, we're also pointing out everyone's differences and perceived flaws.

As an adult, I can look at a Barbie that isn't perfect and think, oh I like her hair, I like her dress, she has pretty eyes-and want to choose a Barbie based on that, it wouldn't cross my mind to not pick the robust Barbie just b/c she was thicker or b/c of her skin color. If I liked other things on her, I'd pick her.

there's only a couple Barbie's I like anyway..I prefer Jem haha! London had Barbie's, but she was more into Monster High-b/c they were different, and b/c mommy thought they were cuter.
 

december-fire

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As mentioned before, I do think a small step in the right direction is better than doing nothing. And I think advertisers play a big role in how we view ourselves (until we reach a certain comfort level and can smirk at the nonsense in ads; like models in their 20s or 30s promoting anti-wrinkle cream. :rolleyes: )

As a child, I was quite conscious of my body type, but not because of any dolls or toys; it was the result of comments from adults in my life.

I was very skinny, despite eating a lot and even starting weight-lifting in an attempt to gain some 'weight' via muscles.

Even during our hot, humid summers, I'd wear long sleeves and jeans to hide my skinny arms and legs; which, in retrospect, probably looked like those of Barbie! :lol:

My friends' parents would always try to get me to eat.

During my childhood, we weren't familiar with the terms anorexia and bulimia. However, my daughter was asked by people if she suffered from one of those very tragic conditions/diseases.

My daughter wasn't uncomfortable with her size, but she had me there telling her that I was the same and didn't put on weight until later in life. I went from skinny to slim. My daughter is now an adult and still very tiny, but she's healthy and comfortable with her size.

Perhaps dolls might have been an influence on me if I didn't have adults sending me messages about my body not being 'normal'.
 

CJ2008

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Definitely, adults need to fix themselves. In more ways than one. This being one of the many issues.

Mothers need to be super careful about the messages they send to their children - both girls and boys - about accepting themselves and loving themselves as they are and others as they are now, especially with exterior "flaws."

I didn't like dolls when I grew up so I don't even remember if I had any, although I'm pretty sure I must have...

But I am sure many of my body image issues come from my mother's attitudes, who wouldn't even go to the beach because of how many spider veins she had on her legs. Who was constantly on some diet or complaining about how fat she was.

And definitely, many of my doubts / feelings of shame came from OTHER ADULTS commenting on my body. So funny how I can remember certain comments that were made DECADES ago like they were yesterday.

But adults fixing themselves is much more difficult than fixing / addressing the issue through a doll, even if it's in small tiny way.

We don't need thousands of dolls, or to represent everyone.

We don't need every conceivable body shape, eye shape, hair type, hand size, foot size, waist circumference.

We just need to represent more body types than there are now. But I wouldn't take away skinny "perfect" Barbie. Because you know what? There ARE little girls out there who resemble (or will resemble) that body "type" (or maybe their moms look like that). So I wouldn't take away the Barbie as she is now necessarily. I'd just add others, so that little girls can choose which one they want and they can see other dolls out there too.

And you know what? If one little girl is holding a skinny Barbie and another little girl is holding a heavier/chunkier Barbie and it makes them think something in that moment, maybe they'll say it outloud. Maybe the little girls will be nice to each other or maybe not. But maybe in all of that at some point they will ask mom or dad - "why do I look different than x?" "is her Barbie prettier than mine?" or "I'm ugly". Maybe the different dolls can be a vehicle for communication.

The doll itself can't do the teaching - it's still and always will be - the parents and the adults in that child's life that will do the teaching. Not to say that can't happen if only one Barbie exists - but I think with different dolls being represented the teaching opportunities are more.

That's what's it's all about for me - not political correctness - but awareness, and the opportunity for the parent to address any self doubts or fears or feelings of shame.
 

LLJsmom

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I've avoided this thread because I never played with Barbie as a kid. I was a small little Asian girl and I knew I would never grow up to look like this doll. I never related to the doll, and therefore I never played with it. I did play with a beanbag doll that had a saggy belly and a cheeky face that was constantly smudged. Funny how some things never change. I was given one Barbie for a birthday gift, and the first thing I did was cut her hair into a bob. Now Barbie and I had one thing in common, and then I threw her into a box somewhere, lost for many years. Whatever. I think the new derivations of these Barbies are a step in the right direction.

I don't read too much into it. If for nothing else other than attracting more girls to play with Barbies, this may be helpful to Mattel's bottom line.

Also, as a kid, I never did think Barbie's body was the epitome of perfection. I thought the proportions of her body made her look deformed, and not the least bit attractive. But again, how each person views Barbie depends on her background, upbringing and her inherent character and personality. If these new derivations help a little girl not to feel badly about her own, or prevent her from aspiring to a generally unattainable body type, great. That's a good thing.
 

lulu

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I'm still waiting for hysterectomy Barbie with the removable uterus.
 

kenny

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lulu|1454294494|3984930 said:
I'm still waiting for hysterectomy Barbie with the removable uterus.

... uterus sold separately, terms and conditions apply.
 

partgypsy

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This thread make me start a conversation with my youngest who is 9, carefully asking her about how does she view Barbies, and whether they look like a real person or a person you would want to look like. And my youngest (who is a bit of a cut up) said "This is me being Barbie" and started walking stiff legged on her tiptoes with her arms straight out saying "I'm Barbie" in a funny voice. And then said "wait" ran off and then came back walking the same way, with a pillow stuffed in her sweatshirt so she had a huge chest. Me and my oldest daughter busted cracking up. My oldest said, of course it is not realistic "this is how she would have to sit down", falling into an armchair with her legs straight out.

Suffice to say, I think they are going to be OK.
 
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