My Barbie Doll...I had the first one, I think...blonde bubble haircut, black and white one piece swimsuit...I loved dressing her in her little fashions, fussing with her hair. But I can honestly state she had no influence on me, as far as body image. She was/is, after all, merely a 'toy'. Something not to be thought of as 'real', in any way. As a child, I knew the difference, between a 'toy' and what's real.

I think the visual media is, and has been, the main culprit as far as influencing society, as to body image. I'm fifty-four years old, and have had a front row seat to the gradual building of that influence. I've seen what is and has been shown in magazines, films, and on television, through the years, (all merely entertainment venues, for the most part) become a society's standard. Illuisons transformed into a belief of reality.

Barbie has been blasted, has been pointed out as the culprit for causing low self-esteem, and a distorted sense of body image, from which so many of our girls and young women suffer. But, Barbie is just an innocent toy. The real culprits are those behind the mega visual media giants.

Jeannine Schenewerk
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