Bootiful Barbie & Body Image


Body image is one of those huge taboo subjects. It's one subject that you can literally spend studying for years and still not fully get to grips with society and it's perception on it. I know I spent many years focusing on health and social care for my degree and I found it so intriguing getting into the minds of society. 

It's easy enough to talk about our body image as a simple state of mind - But that would be wrong. Body image comes from so many places, our upbringing, where we live, who we socialise with and of course the media. Sometimes it's easy to look at others we deem as having a better life than ourselves or a better look or body and aspire to be them. Some young girls and ladies (and guys of course) do take it further which results in an array of mental health issues such as anorexia or bulimia. 

Growing up many girls are given Barbies and Sindy dolls. It's our first chance at witnessing the 'adult' body and dressing it up. It's exciting and she just looks perfect in everything she wears, it's easy to see why girls would idolise Barbie as having the perfect body. What they don't understand is that Barbie doesn't have 'real' human equivalent measurements. Apparently if the human head was the same length as Barbies (of course made larger) our head wouldn't be able to support itself. 

Artist Nikolay Lamm decided to challenge Barbie and to show that a Barbie made with human equivalent measurements would still look perfect. Taking the average stats of a 19 year old woman a new Barbie was created. 

Take a peek.  

On the left is the classic Barbie with her elongated neck, lengthened limps and non-existent curves. On the right is the 'real' Barbie with her perfect pert bottom, longer feet, standard neck and thicker arms. At first I was thinking 'oh gawd' but upon closer inspection I do think I would personally have grown up, realising that adult ladies have round bums, curvy legs and thicker waists - and that would have been OK. I wouldn't personally have grown up hating any lump, bump or chubby bit. 

Going forward with society now starting to tackle social habits and health more thoroughly and celebrities advocating bums, hips and thighs would it be a good idea for Mattel to create a real Barbie based on real measurements? 

What do you think? Retro or real Barbie?  

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