Monday, February 25, 2013

Barbie's Hip(s)

My daughter and I were cleaning up
her toys last night when I stopped to look at Spotlight Barbie. She's a rock star, and she's wearing metallic silver pants that fit pretty tight. As I stared at the doll I thought, "This girl's got hips!"

Granted, she wasn't terribly wide, but that doll was curvy. She did not have the boyish figure of a runway model. Mattell has responded to criticism that Barbie's body was unrealistic. One report online said if the original Barbie were a real woman, she'd stand 5'9" tall, measure 36-18-33, and she'd have too little body fat to menstruate. But our Spotlight Barbie looked a little more realistic than the dolls I played with in 1980.

Mattell has also added dolls in a variety of professions. Barbie has been a vet, a pilot, an ambassador, etc. I'm glad to see her moving into fields traditionally reserved for men.

Barbie is still thin and beautiful, and perhaps she still contributes to an unrealistic body image. But maybe there is hope for Mattell if their designers will continue to move Barbie toward a figure that is healthier for my daughter to see. I hope she'll branch out to new professions. My area of study is theology, and Mattell has yet to create a theology professor doll. She could wear academic regalia. Place a Hebrew Old Testament in one hand, a Systematic Theology text in the other. Hang a sign around her neck reading, "Will lecture for food." You better lecture a lot, Barbie, because you need to eat more. Theology professors don't make a lot of money, and you could still stand to put on a few pounds. Can I get an amen?