She’s been accused of being too voluptuous and a bad example for young girls giving them unrealistic expectations for how their bodies will turn out. She’s been accused of forcing girls into gender stereotypes.
What do you think? Is Barbie a bad playmate for your daughter?
My 7-year-old daughter loves her Barbies (and knock-off Barbies). She has more than 30 dolls living in the basement and her bedroom. There are very specific games going on with very specific outfits, and they are not to be touched. Her imagination runs wild and she and her Barbies are in whole other worlds.
Is playing with Barbie affecting her body image? Does she feel forced into certain gender roles because she likes dressing up her Barbies and fixing their hair?
I actually don’t think so – at least not in her case. I tried subtly asking her about her thoughts on Barbie on the way to Girl Scouts last night. Apparently, in my efforts not to prejudice the jury I was too obtuse. She yelled flustered from the back of the minivan, “What are you getting at?” I gave up.
I do know one little girl who is Asian and has dark black hair and olive skin. She told me once that the blond Barbies were the pretty ones. I felt terrible for her. I thought she doesn’t think she’s beautiful. She thinks the blond little girls are the pretty ones. From that experience, we have made sure that Rose has a variety of races for all her dolls.
What do you think: Can Barbie influence how little girls see themselves? Or is she just a toy and adults are reading way too much into it?