Who knows whether it was intentional or not, but when Plus-Size Modeling put up an image on their Facebook page of a Barbie doll photoshopped to plus-size proportions, they sparked a firestorm of heated debate about body image and obesity across the Web. The creators gave the normally wasp-waisted blonde doll thick thighs, a horizontally-expanded middle and a double – no, triple – chin. The image, which asked those in support of the manufacture of a plus-sized Barbie doll to “Like” the pic, had garnered more than 43,000 likes at the time this article was written.
While we here at The Daily BBW were thrilled by the look of this fabulously fat figurine, much of the commenting public were advocating something in between what they considered two extremes – in other words, “acceptable fatness.”
If you have any doubt that a toy as seemingly innocuous as a Barbie can’t have a powerful effect on a young woman’s psyche, look no further than Valeria Lukyanova, who has undergone plastic surgery to attain the naturally unattainable. Granted, Ms. Lukyanova is an extreme case, but she’s certainly not alone. In 2006, University of Sussex psychology professors Suzanne Ive and Emma Halliwell published a study that young girls exposed to Barbie doll images produced “lower self-esteem and a greater desire for a thinner body shape than in the other exposed conditions.”
Kudos to the folks over at Plus-Size Modeling for reviving this important debate!