Sizing Up Barbie

BATD ON Jul 04, 2013 AT 11:06 am

Believe it or not, the much loved Mattel toy, Barbie our best dress-up friend since childhood,  has been around since 1959!

Since then, there has been much debate over her ‘perfect’ figure. Why don’t her proportions reflect that of a real woman? What would a woman with those proportions really look like? Well, at just 16-inches her waist would be four inches thinner than her head, leaving room for only half a liver and a few inches of intestine.

Her fragile 3.5 inch wrists, together with her 6-inch ankles and size 3 feet would prevent her from lifting most things, and she’d be totally unable to stand up – having to crawl on all fours.

But the most controversial question continued to be: does Barbie’s unnatural proportions create negative body image views little girls have of their own bodies who’ve played with the toy for decades?

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Mattel Barbie v. Nickolay Lamm’s Barbie

Barbie dolls have unhealthy measurements of an 16″ waist, 33″ hips and a 36″ bust compared with the typical 19-year-old woman’s 31″ waist, 33″ hips and a 32″ bust.

Using these CDC measurements, Artist Nickolay Lamm settled the dispute with an experiment by creating ‘Normal Barbie.’

“I created this ‘Normal’ Barbie, because I feel that if there’s even a small chance of Barbie negatively influencing girls, and if normal Barbie looks good, why doesn’t Mattel make ‘normal Barbie’? … I want to show people that normal Barbie can look even better than real Barbie. Average is beautiful.”

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Side view of what Barbie’s proportions are v. a real 19-year-old’s.

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