Are dolls with wafer-thin and unrealistic body proportions to be blamed for the wrong body image that young girls are suffering from and willing to literally die for?
A study by the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders blamed the exposure of young girls to highly unrealistic images of female bodies beginning with their first toy doll, particularly the very popular Barbie doll. If she was a real person, she would stand 5' 9" tall and weigh 110 lb which is 35 lbs lesser than the healthy weight for a woman given that height.
As a result, 80 per cent of 10-year-old girls are afraid to become fat, 42 per cent of those in the first through third grade wish they were thinner and 50 per cent of girls in the age range 9 to 10 said they feel better when they are dieting.
The anxiety over weight worsens when they reach high school when 10 per cent suffer from an eating disorder, while 90 per cent of all people with eating disorders are females in the age ranges 12 to 25.
In one worse case, an 8-year-old girl from UK named Dana, refused more than 175 calories daily and had to be forced fed through an IV and enrolled in a 12-week in-patient programme.
"The anxieties they experience are the product of a society and media culture that prizes a thin image for women before anything else, and devalues any woman who strays outside the false 'norm' of a skinny body. In pursuit of that unattainable goal, they will literally starve themselves to death. They are dying to be like Barbie," the study warned.
The pressure to create the Barbie as an ideal for all women is being blamed on Barbie manufacturer, Mattel, which in the 1960s first released the popular door that came with accessories including a weighing scale fixed at 110 lbs and a small book with the title How to Lose Weight.
However, the book actually has only one advise - Don't Eat!, which has been repackaged online with the code word IDEA which means I don't eat anymore.
The study pointed out that women with Barbie doll-like body proportions would not have the needed body fat to have menstruation at all and her body mass index would be classified as severely underweight.
To achieve such an unrealistic body proportion, women must grow two more feet taller, extend their neck length by 3.2 inches, add 5 inches to their breast size and lose 6 inches on their waistline.
"No woman could ever hope to achieve such impossible dimensions, and yet young girls are show that his is a body to emulate," the study stressed.
To worsen the situation, Barbie has become not only a body-image model but even a face-image model for a few number of women who underwent cosmetic surgery to look like the doll
or even the male version, Ken.
Besides scutinising Barbie's body proportions, artists are also imaging how the popular doll and other toy dolls on the market would look like without make-up as an offshoot of online trends showing how female celebrities and porn stars look minus cosmetics.
Artists initially came up with renditions of Barbie without make-up which showed large eye bags, while the latest photo is that of the Bratz doll seen below.
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