“Average Barbie”

“This “normal” version of Barbie promotes realistic beauty standards”

In case you haven’t heard, there is this “Average Barbie” named Lammily which was created if she actually had the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman’s body, which comes with stickers that you can put on her of acne, stretch marks, cellulite, tattoos, scars, freckles, birth marks. Sounds kind of cool, I love the concept. But “Average Barbie” irks me.

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1) First of all, her coined name is “Average Barbie” and her slogan is “Average is Beautiful”. The word ‘average’ is kind of negative in my opinion. No one grows up saying “I cannot wait to be average. I can’t wait to have an average life. Yay, I am average”. No one aspires to just being average, mediocre, or typical. Average usually means boring. In fact, there are even Twitter accounts making fun of this exact thing. That being said, wouldn’t kids want the other Barbie since she isn’t average? She is the ‘special’ one?

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2) The doll looks like an average soccer mom who probably drives your average van and wears your average mommy jeans. I do not mean that dolls need to be sexy – because I don’t – but I know I would have rather played with the fun exciting looking doll with the cool clothes than the one that matches my friends’ mom.

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3) I do LOVE, that this doll is more modest, isn’t in skanky clothing, and her swimsuits aren’t falling off her. But I think her clothes could be a little more exciting. Just because your body is ‘average’ doesn’t mean you have to dress like you are 40 at 19.

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5) She is sporty, which there is nothing wrong with. But saying that, she isn’t ‘average’ she is ‘toned’; she is ‘muscular’. She has a firm plastic stomach, not a soft one with some extra softness in the arms.

4) I don’t believe it is Barbie which gives young girls body image issues and claiming this Average looking Barbie will help fix that is just ignorant. Yes, sure, regular Barbie might not help, but she isn’t the sole issue. Making one product a little more ‘real’ just puts a BandAid on the real issue. Turn on the TV, open a magazine, watch a music video, look at a mannequin in a store. I believe that those are more ‘in your face’ and cause more issues than Barbie. Those photoshopped models have more of an impact since they look more ‘real’ than a plastic doll you can hold in your hand. The Robyn Lawley’s, or Ashley Graham’s, or the Georgia Pratt’s are what is real.

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5) The beautiful “plus size” models look more like any real person opposed to any photoshopped tiny 90lb model, or plastic doll. Sure, they too are photoshopped, they are made to look good as well, that is in the industry, but they are more than just ‘plus size’, the terminology needs to go, advertisements need to change. When that happens, things like “Average” Barbie will have more of an impact.

Furthermore, there needs to be shift and have less focus on size and outer beauty and more on intelligence and inner beauty. Robyn puts it best herself. “Curves don’t epitomize a woman. Saying, ‘Skinny is ugly’ should be no more acceptable than saying fat is. I find all this stuff a very controlling and effective way of making women obsess over their weight, instead of exploiting their more important attributes, such as intellect, strength and power.” And it are those qualities which little girls, or women in general need to focus on.

Intellect.

Strength.

Power.

That is what is more important.

Everyone preaches ‘size doesn’t matter’ but clearly it does. Society needs to shift, and focus on raising strong, independent, intellectual, intelligent, kids who can rise to become powerful adults. Not focus on shallow things such as size.

So this is why “Average” Barbie irks me.

 

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