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Life-Size Barbie

What does Barbie look like if she were a real person? For National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, high school student Galia Slayen decided to make a life-size Barbie, using the same proportion as the iconic doll:

Slayen brought the life-sized doll to the Today studios Monday to show off her handiwork. The Barbie stands about 6 feet tall with a 39" bust, 18" waist and 33" hips. She is made of wood, chicken wire and papier mache, and is dressed in a size 00 skirt that was a remnant from Slayen’s one-year bout with anorexia.

“I’m not blaming Barbie [for my illness] — she’s one small factor, an environmental factor,” Slayen said. “I’m blond and blue-eyed and I figured that was what I was supposed to look like. She was my idol. It impacted the way I looked at myself.”

The goal in creating Barbie’s likeness was to start conversation. “Talking about eating disorders is taboo to many people, and this made people talk about it,” Slayen said. “It’s a shocking image. A lot of people have seen it, and it’s started debates,” she said, particularly after she wrote about it for the Huffington Post. “Her proportions are not 100 percent correct, but her look is not invalid.”

Link | Galia's story in her own words at HuffPo


Maybe I'm being insensitive here, but what kind of moron looks at a Barbie doll and thinks that is what she is supposed to look like? Maybe if that is all she ever saw....like she was kept in a cage in the basement. A Barbie may be one influence, but there are 100's of other women out there (mom? aunts? sisters?) that a little girl could "assume" she is supposed to look like. Sounds like a cop-out -- blame the outside factors, not take the responsibility on yourself.
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And my first doll was a cabbage patch kid, so imagine my distress when i found out that wasn't what I was supposed to look like...then I got a GI Joe and things really went south for me...

Come on, folks, we are wll past the idea of blaming dolls for what we do to ourselves. We all know it's our parents' fault!
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I didn't know talking about anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders was "taboo". Then again, I've been mostly talking amongst myself after reading textbooks on these subjects. I try to talk with others about how our self-image and our obsession over it causes us all manner of suffering and neuroses. But I guess the idea that anorexics are essentially egotists is a bit discomforting. Then again, what is this woman saying? She looked up to Barbie as the model of what she should look like. That is entirely an obsession with self-image and therefor a form of egotism.

I'm seriously guy, most of these things boil down to an obsession over self-image, aka ego. But that's not what "victims" of eating disorders want to hear, and just because that is the conclusion I've come to does not mean that I'm blaming the victim or trying to make the whole subject taboo. Does it become taboo when you don't get the kind of dialog you want? Or when someone tells you that you are the victim of your own doing?

Now, I also maintain that the society is putting a lot of pressure on young people to obsess over their self-image. The whole society is awash in egotism. That is precisely the point and the reason why people don't like talking to me about these things. Nobody wants to hear that they are the cause, their ego will not let them.

"You have to admire the opponents elogance. If you try to kill him to save them, they will kill you to save him. Ah! It's so beautiful." - Avi, Revolver
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The idea that Barbie forms this unobtainable image in girl's minds is absurd and shouldn't be Mattel's fault they can't separate fiction from real life. I played with action figures--GI Joe in particular--while growing up and never once thought I need to grow up with washboard abs and bulging biceps.
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Why pick on Barbie? I should think fashion models and celebrities with silicone implants are much more influencial on impressionable children.

If you think about it. If Barbie was an exact copy of a real woman, would you not be giving a nude figure to a child? That would have parents freaking out in the 50's when the doll was released. Barbies is more of a symbolic figure rather than an ideal figure.
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Besides, Barbie doesn't look like that anymore. She has a more realistic body - smaller boobs, widened her waist. AND we knock barbie for making us want to be skinny and McDonald's for making us fat? Where does personal responsibility come in?
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Ditto #1. That is not proportionate to what a barbie doll looks like.
And I had a ton of barbies growing up and never once thought that is what I was supposed to look like.
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Good for Galia! An imaginative way to draw attention to the unrealistic and ridiculous "standards" of "beauty" that some segments of society try to impose on women ....starting at a very early age.
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what about video games? As a male I am OUTRAGED that all men in games are shown as huge, bulky masses of muscles on top of muscles. I cannot cope with life cause that's how media is telling me I have to look to be accepted by society.

It's either bulky masses of meat or neck-bearded fatties that live in their parents basement. Those are my only options as a man now... is sad
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To some degree, the exaggerated proportions of the Barbie doll are there to compensate for the relative thickness and inflexibility of the fabric used in her clothes. Fabric for Barbie clothes are woven from the same thickness of thread used in normal textiles, and so hang and drape differently.
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Barbie gets a lot of unfair criticism. Barbies are DOLLS. They're not real. They make no claims of being representations of what the female form should look like. We don't expect other humanoid toys to set some sort of realistic body image standard. We don't worry that boys are getting the wrong idea because Optimist Prime's actual body would be 30 feet tall or that they're going to kill themselves trying to be huge and muscular and green like the Incredible Hulk action figure. We don't worry that girls who play with a Dora the Explorer doll are going to be depressed that their heads aren't twice the size of their body and shaped like footballs. We didn't worry that cabbage patch kids were going to make kids want to look like that or that playing with a fairy doll is going to make kids depressed they can't grow wings or a playing with a Disney Mermaid Princess doll is going to make them sad they can't grow a tail. Sounds to me like too many grown-ups have issues of their own and are assigning this little girl's plastic plaything way more power than it actually has.

It's a shame that the discussion of the very very real issue of negative body image and eating disorders gets wrapped up so often in this doll. It's a red herring that distracts from talking about or dealing with the real sources of that sort of trouble. I guess it's just easier to be angry at and worried about and talking about a doll than it is to talk about the real stuff.

Plus, targeting Barbie trivializes the truth about eating disorders and body image. Talking about it like anorexic girls are killing themselves over wanting to look like a cheap plastic dolly they played with as little girls is insulting to anyone who's ever struggled with the reality of those issues. If only it were as simple as changing Barbie's measurements or replacing her with a doll that looks more like an average healthy woman, but alas, there's a WHOLE lot more to it. Making the young women that are struggling with a serious condition seem even crazier, like they're totally freaked out about something as stupid as a toy, is just awful.
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I have a daughter with lots of Barbies, and I use Barbie parts in various artistic projects, and from that hands-on experience I am quite certain that the proportions of what this girl in the post made are totally nuts and look very little like a scaled up version of the doll!!!
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Plus, I think Barbie has hands.

She must be getting old; her left boob is starting to sag.

I don't know how an anorexic could blame Barbie for feeling fat. Even the old Barbie is bulkier than most paper-thin supermodels you see today. If anything, her giant breasts would encourage young women to feel better about their own large proportions.

I knew a girl in high school who had reduction surgery once she became an adult. It was a decision based on yeras of being famous for her proportions, not on what dolls she played with as a child.

This type of Barbie-bashing really says to girls, "We think you're stupid and impressionable", instead of addressing the real issues that drive them into anorexia.
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Look, I get this is a touchy subject that people identify with, and there is a need to have a conversation about it. But the way these conversations go are locked within a schismatic separation of causal continuity. There is no If P Then Q solution to the issue. In logical form it would look something like: If S believes that if p, then (q unless S does x); and S desires that not-q; and S does not believe that if p and S does x, then something r will be the case such that S desires not-r more than S desires that p; etc.; then, ceteris paribus, probably S will do x.
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Come on, guys, don't take this too seriously. She's trying to illustrate a point about media influences on self-image, not discredit Barbie. She even says she DOESN'T blame Barbie for her eating disorder, just a small environmental factor, which can be easily translated as 'there were more traumatising, sensitive things which may have caused an eating disorder to accumulate'. So she isn't saying that she desperately wanted to be like Barbie, just that it was a small unconscious prod in that direction. And eating disorders are probably a bit taboo for some people, especially those who are suffering. Not everyone can talk about the things you can.
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1) This girl is a teenager, who had an eating disorder i.e. a MENTAL ILLNESS when she was a younger teen. A MENTAL ILLNESS characterized by compulsion and obsession to the point of self harm. So yes a pre-teen viewing a faux sense of beauty and thinking she's perfect, I want her shape is 100% logical because she had a mental illness. You can't look at something that is irrational and view is if she were a logical rational human being at the time. Once you start eating 200 calories a day... logic is gone.

2) http://www.peacelovelunges.com/sports-fitness/ask-sam/what-if-barbie-were-a-real-woman/ The in this articles barbie is actually NICER than what other people say. Google other peoples results.

The doll wasn't meant to be perfect it's meant to inspire debates. The problem with many of the media is we say "Value women who are normal and not emaciated" and then they give us plus size models... its the extreme opposite. Normal is normal. Sizes 6-10 would be fine to have in the public eye for what women should look like ( and I say that as an obese woman working on changing my body now).
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