Is Barbie bad for girls? | The Tylt

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Is Barbie bad for girls?
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Barbie made her debut March 9, 1959, and since then, more than a billion Barbies have been sold. But critics say the doll's ridiculous proportions perpetuate gender stereotypes, unhealthy body image, and white beauty ideals. Australian researchers found that playing with a Barbie just one time made girls think they had to be thin. But others say we should cut Barbie some slack—Mattel has updated the doll, and millions of us grew up playing with her and turned out just fine. Is Barbie so bad? 

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From unrealistic body type and general inappropriateness to glorifying the image of a thin, white woman as perfection, many children's health experts agreethere are just better toys out there for girls than Barbie.

All kids should have a true diversity of toys to play with—dolls, construction toys, play food, craft supplies, vehicles, and so on—to encourage a richly imaginative play life.
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But other people say images of unrealistic blonde, white perfection are projected at kids all day long in the society—you can't pin it all on Barbie. And Mattel has tried to update the doll by offering Black Barbie (first introduced in 1980), a more realistic body shape, and professional aspirations. There's even a Barbie in a wheelchair.

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Although black Barbies often cost more, which is pretty messed up. 

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Plenty of women played with Barbies in their youth and were not irrevocably damaged.

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And some studies find playing with Barbie completely harmless:

Neither age of acquisition or number of Barbies owned had a significant impact on self-evaluations of appearance or on dieting behavior. The strongest predictor of dieting behavior was the women’s recollection of how much physical appearance was valued by her family of origin members.
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And other people don't want their kids playing with a doll that's just designed to be dressed up.

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is Barbie bad for girls?
#BarbieIsBad
A festive crown for the winner
#BarbieIsHarmless