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I've been wondering about whether the Barbie Doll is an influence on making us feel we need to be so shapely?

I think when I was in my teens I thought I had to be very thin but curvy.

Now as a granma I'm just trying to stay healthy. <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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Hi, Susan.

Barbie was definitely an influence when I was a young girl. Growing up, though, she got replaced with models and celebrites (for me anyway). One thing that has gotten better, though, is there are a lot of beautiful women in our media world at every age -- not just in their 20's.

You're a grandma? You look so little in that picture <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Trevy Thomas
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I never saw barbie as anything more than a plastic toy with hair that's fun to cut and a face that is fun to draw on. I have three girls now and none have cared for barbie all that much once they hit 6 or 7.

I think a worse influence are the ones I see in magazines, tv, billboards, etc.

Personally, I've gotten over a lot of that once I started having children, but every once in a while I start to feel it creep in. I look at my kids (I have more than the average supermodel), my checkbook (can't afford 4 hour work-out sessions daily) and the mirror (I wish i had an airbrush, LOL)

Meg


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Hehehe...

To top it off I was a classical ballet dancer till age 30 and here at 59 still have that image in mind ...

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Jellyfish
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Wow, a classical ballet dancer. That seems like such a dream life. I know what you mean about having a former image in mind. I remember my mom saying, in her 60's, that she still felt 20-ish and was so surprised when she looked in the mirror that it made her laugh <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Trevy Thomas
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Barbie was definitly an influence on me and as others here have mentioned--the supermodel craze. Today I think what most influences kids and adults are the magazines, tv, etc. because kids are actually veering away from standard toys like dolls in favor of the video games and cell phones they see supermodels and celebrities using. Personally, I'm 26 and I moderate my tv watching because that stuff really affects me.

It is sad to see that thin/curvy perfection is what is aspired to rather than happiness and health.


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I really dont think that Barbie effected me. To me she was just a piece of plastic with pretty hair.I always thought that she had an odd body. I mean she had no stomach! But I do admitt that tv and magazines effect me, they make me wish I had super cute clothes, they dont make me think that my body is ugly though, I mean I look at Madonna and I think she looks awesome for her age and it motivates me to be healthy I know that thin does not always mean heathy but I think theres nothing wrong with wanting to be in shape and trim. But I do hear all these horror studies of teens with eating disorders and self image problems at such a younge age! Thats scary! I think alot of that is tv and magazines.. But also alot of that they get at home.. Just an oppion! <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

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What I'm more worried about is that young girls want to dress like Barbie! Used to be that wasn't so bad - but these days - ACK!

There is no way I would let my daughter (8) wear the bathing suits they put on these dolls! Or half of the other outfits either. They look like they could be on the Cartoon Network's version of "Pretty Woman" - and not in a good way! Especially the "My Scene" Barbie's - what's with these dolls, and Bratz? They all look like they are just waiting to say "*** you" to parents. Is this what we really want our little girls emulating?!? <img src="/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />


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I don't have a daughter, but if I did, we would definitely have trouble with fashion. I can't stand seeing little girls who look like streetwalkers -- plus it seems unsafe, like they will be attracting the wrong attention. My dad used to say "Girls have it tough. It's best not to draw attention to yourself in anyway. Dress like a potato sack." I didn't quite go to that extreme, but I thought about safety when I got dressed.


Trevy Thomas
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Jellyfish
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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.

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