In my last post I stated that I would make the connection between the models in media to younger girls. Well, the sad truth is that body dissatisfaction is becoming more and more common with young girls. Nearly half of females ages 6-8 have stated they want to be slimmer (Serdar). 40% of 14 year olds want to loose weight and 2/3 of adolescent females reported dieting at some point in their lives (Serdar). This dissatisfaction can be related to watching TV or reading magazines. According to Serdar, kids that watch more TV along with music videos are more likely to be unhappy with the way they looked.
I know that when I was eight years old, the way I looked was the last thing from my mind. I was more concerned with dressing and playing with my Barbie. However, is it possible that Barbie could in fact also be promoting an unrealistic body image? Take a look at this picture and judge for yourself what Barbie in real life would look like.
I don’t think anyone looks like that, or would want to for that matter, but the problem is that Barbie represents a miniature version of perfection. I am not suggesting that every parent should boycott Barbie, but I am trying to make a point that the “perfect body” is surrounding us at a young age in multiple forms, not just TV. For a better understanding of how impractical Barbie’s measurements are, here is a comparison of average measurements shrunk down and compared to the doll.
I think that Barbie is a great toy, along with her movies and music, etc., but maybe parents should talk to their kids about her and make sure they understand that she is just a toy. By reassuring your child at a young age what is real and what isn’t, they may be able to make that distinction better when they grow up. Obviously, they understand that she isn’t a real living person, but I am talking about the fact that she wouldn’t be realistic if she were real. In my next post I will talk about more things we may believe to be real, but actually are fake.
Serdar, Kasey L. “Female Body Image and the Mass Media: Perspectives on How Women Internalize the Ideal Beauty Standard.” Westminster College: A Private Comprehensive Liberal Arts College in Salt Lake City, UT, Offering Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees in Liberal Arts and Professional Programs, including Business, Nursing, Education and Communication. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2013.