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 Post subject: Barbie - and other children's toys: harmless or not?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:07 am 
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Another interesting article about Barbie's proportions if applied to real women:

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Bones so frail it would be impossible to walk and room for only half a liver: Shocking research reveals what life would be like if a REAL woman had Barbie's body
By Nina Golgowski
13 April 2013

If Barbie was a real woman she'd be forced to walk on all fours and would be physically incapable of lifting her over-sized head - perhaps a far cry from what the designers of Mattel envisioned.

A disturbing chart that converts the doll's body scale into a real-life human being's reveals the outrageous proportions that transforms her into something out of a Sci-Fi movie.

Starting from the top down, Barbie's head would be two inches larger than the average American woman's while resting on a neck twice as long and six inches thinner.

From these measurements she'd be entirely incapable of lifting her head.

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Mutant: The above picture shows how if Barbie's physical measurements were given to a real woman she'd only have room for half a liver and a few inches of intestine in her body, but room for a bigger brain

Her 16-inch waist would also be four inches thinner than her head, leaving room for only half a liver and a few inches of intestine.

Like her fragile 3.5 inch wrists, her 6-inch ankles would prevent her from heavy lifting. Then, as far as holding up her entire body - despite so much of it missing - it'd be an entirely impossible feat requiring her to walk on all fours.

That method of mobility is further supported, strictly theoretically, by her children's size three feet.

The graphs released by Rehabs.com, a site for locating mental health treatment centers in the U.S., aims to point out the outrageous physical characteristics of a doll seen for more than 50 years as a role model for girls.

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Comparison: When comparing Barbie's physical proportions to the average American woman's she'd have a notably thinner neck, smaller biceps and forearms, smaller wrists, waist, hips, thighs and calves

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What are the odds? Among the above chart's findings, it tells how the odds of finding a single woman with the same tall and thin neck as Barbie is one out of 4.3 billion

In addition to comparing Barbie's body proportions to the average American woman's, it also compares them to the average anorexic woman.

Further stressing Barbie's one-of-a-kind body, while considering the sizes of both average American women and anorexic women, Rehabs.com found the odds of finding a single woman with the same naturally tall and thin neck like Barbie is one out of 4.3 billion.

Similarly finding a woman with Barbie's waist would be one out of every 2.4 billion.

Men are not left out from their comparison though, with awareness paid to the physical proportions of Ken dolls, said to be generally closer to a reality than Barbie's.

Barbie's size has long been controversial with Mattel previously defending her slim figure because of the bulk her clothes' seams, snaps and zippers added.

In 1998 the dolls' waist was expanded and bust made smaller, said to reflect a more 'real' female body type.

Among Rehabs.com's found odds of any other woman having the same physical measurements as Barbie, while considering those of both average American woman and anorexic women as well, the odds of finding a single woman with the same tall and thin neck as Barbie is one out of 4.3 billion.

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:57 am 
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Its never bothered me THAT much, there are sooo many cartoons etc that have the tinniest waists, its just you know, we know she is not real. But I do see 'Barbie' is a massive role model and huge brand across the world which is why she gets all the shit.

I have teeny tiny wrists and ankles natuarlly and I can still lift heavy stuff pretty well :x

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:54 am 
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I remember doing a project in a simple math class where we had to enhance an object. So make it bigger while keeping all its proportions that same. I chose to do Barbie, and I made her 69 inches tall, which is my height. My hips and waist are bigger than hers, and my chest is smaller. What else could I have expected?

I think we need to cut Barbie some slack for a while!

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:07 pm 
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Imagine what we could accomplish with all the time and money spent on research, tv time, and debating the hazards of Barbie...

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:58 pm 
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FadingHippie wrote:
Imagine what we could accomplish with all the time and money spent on research, tv time, and debating the hazards of Barbie...


Hahahaha we could probably build a few rocketships and maybe send barbie to space.

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:33 pm 
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Haaaa

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:56 am 
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I guess I'm not cutting Barbie any slack, or other dolls, like Bratz, that are based on unrealistic body image. I don't ignore or dismiss magazines and the use of photoshopping or anorexic models and the promotion of thinness at any cost, so why is Barbie special? I don't understand that.

I was born at a time when TVs were still pretty cutting edge, and colour TV was the shiz. We were not actually allowed to watch much TV even when we got one. I was surrounded by books, mostly classics, and newspapers (and only read the comics page for many years), but no magazines and I could count on one hand the number of movies I went to before I turned 20.

But I had Barbies. And Ken, and Midge and Skipper. I didn't understand Barbie. Her body was alien to me, a reminder of being a different shape - the wrong shape - than my family of tall, skinny waifs. I spent a lot of time with Barbie. Dressing her, undressing her. Trying to get her to ride horses (Barbie isn't built to do much besides stand up and lie down). Then there was another doll - was it Jane? She came with a big horse and she had articulated joints so she could sit on a horse, but she had a very masculine body and features, or so it seemed to me at the time. You could see Barbie going on dates and wearing wedding dresses, but Jane's clothes were actually part of the plastic doll - you couldn't even dress her up.

What a curious thing. I was never really happy with Jane. I liked her horse, but I didn't like her body or her face. Despite being relatively isolated from most external social body imagery, I didn't like the way Jane looked and didn't enjoy playing with her.

Cut Barbie slack and build rockets? No. The US spends enough on its space program in a week to feed the entire world for a year. Let's just add Barbie to the list of things that make us go, "Boo! Hiss!" and include her in the battle for body freedom.

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:50 am 
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I don't think anyone said to cut her slack...

and I don't think anyone said WITH SERIOUSNESS to cut her slack and build rocketships



I know for me personally I just feel like that's a lot of energy in the wrong place. She's plastic. Why spend all this air time - in the United States at least - advocating for getting Barbie to change her shape and spending research dollars on Barbie when we could be spending that money on Mental Health Policy reform. On changing things that matter.

I sincerely doubt Barbie herself - a single entity - has caused anyone's eating disorder.

I don't doubt that receiving a lack of treatment has cost people their lives.


At least with photoshopping it's a real woman they're discussing.

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:30 am 
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I've got to agree that the whole "criticizing Barbie's unrealistic body" thing is just played out. YEAH, WE KNOW. Maybe you didn't know growing up that Barbie had an unrealistic and unattainable body, but now I think EVERYONE knows.

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Is this what we want out of Barbie? She does represent the majority of Americans.

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:31 am 
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I actually just found this, two dolls used to test the impact of Barbie of young girl's body image (another Barbie study!). Unfortunately, the dolls were only made for the experiment. I'd say, should they be mass produced, they're not bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:09 am 
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We didn't have much money growing up, so I only had one Barbie and my neighbour knitted dresses for her. And when half her leg got chewed off by a dog, we couldn't afford a replacement so I then had a one-legged Barbie! And then I decided she needed a haircut...

As I child I never liked how large and pert her breasts were, and the fact that she had no genitals. But I knew that that's just how dolls were. But I used to make dolls out of wooden spoons etc so it's not like I needed them to look like actual people!

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:46 am 
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Quote:
I don't think anyone said to cut her slack...


No, actually Delenda specifically said that.

I agree, I do not think Barbie is single-handedly responsible for the development of eating disorders. I do believe, that like all other imagery that promotes unhealthy body shape, Barbie (and Ken, for that matter) plays a formative role in setting the stage that breeds the desire to conform to unrealistic standards and perhaps begin engaging in the behaviours that for some lead to the development of eating disorders. If so, then arming parents with the knowledge around deconstructing Barbie's and Ken's unrealistic body shapes is as important in promoting positive body image and self-esteem in children through childhood to adulthood as promoting body acceptance, food diversity and activity as enjoyment.

That is simply my view. We do not have to agree. Having said that, I found the following article interesting, particularly the last paragraph:

Quote:
Even Candy Land Isn't Safe From Sexy
The little-kids' board game, like so many other classic toys, has gotten a makeover.
By Peggy Orenstein
Apr 25 2013

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New examples of the sexualization of girlhood crop up all the time. Of course there are the dolls that look like Sesame Streetwalkers—Monster High, Winx Club, Bratz; the makeup lines for third-graders; the padded bikini tops for seven-year-olds. But a Facebook reader recently pointed out evidence of this phenomenon in the last place I'd expect: Candy Land.

Here is the original Candy Land, circa 1949:

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Yum. Here is the game in 1978:

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I dreamed of those ice cream floats...

Things begin to change more significantly in the 1980s. That's when Candy Land ditched the Dick-and-Jane outfits for generic his-and-hers overalls:

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They also added some friendly candy characters: Plumpy with his plum tree, Mr. Candy Cane, Gramma Nutt, Princess Lolly, Queen Frostine. More on some of them in a moment.

Then we hit 2010. On the upside, Milton Bradley finally recognized, at least in some versions, that there are children who are not white and blonde (nothing against blonde white kids—I was one myself—I'm just saying):

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Beyond that, though...Yikes! Check out today's board!

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In case you can't see it: here's the new Princess Lolly:

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And Queen Frostine turned into a Bratz doll:

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Candy Land isn't the only classic that has, without our notice, gotten a hot makeover. (And I'm not the only one who finds this evolution alarming.) The Disney Princesses have grown gradually more skinny and coy over time. And, check out Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, Trolls (now called "Trollz"). Even Care Bears and My Little Pony have been put on a diet.

When our kids play with toys that we played with, we assume that they are the same as they were when we were younger. But they aren't. Not at all. Our girls (and our boys) are now bombarded from the get-go with images of women whose bodies range from unattainable to implausible (Disney Princesses, anyone?).

Toymakers say they are reflecting the changing taste of their demographic. Maybe, but then it's the change that's so disturbing. Consider a recent study on body image among elementary school-aged girls. Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois used paper dolls to assess self-sexualization in 60 girls ages six to nine recruited largely from public schools. The girls were shown two dolls: One was dressed in tight, revealing "sexy" clothes and the other in a trendy but covered-up loose outfit. Both dolls, as you can see, were skinny and would be considered "pretty" by little girls.

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Using a different set of dolls for each question, the researchers then asked each girl to choose the doll that: looked like herself, looked how she wanted to look, was the popular girl in school, was the girl she wanted to play with. In every category, the girls most often chose the "sexy" doll.

Quote:
The results were most significant in two categories: 68 percent of the girls said the doll looked how she wanted to look, and 72 percent said she was more popular than the non-sexy doll.

“It’s very possible that girls wanted to look like the sexy doll because they believe sexiness leads to popularity, which comes with many social advantages,” explained lead researcher Christy Starr, who was particularly surprised at how many 6- to 7-year-old girls chose the sexualized doll as their ideal self.

Peggy Orenstein


In another study, researchers engaged three-to-five-year-old girls in games of, yes, Candy Land as well as Chutes & Ladders, asking them to choose among three game pieces—a thin one, an average-sized one and a fat one—to represent themselves. While in the past children that age showed little ability to distinguish between average and thin weights, today's wee ones grabbed thin pieces at higher rates not only than fat ones but than those of "normal" weight. When asked by researchers to swap a thin figure for a fat one, the girls not only recoiled but some refused to even touch the chubbier game piece making comments such as, "I hate her, she has a fat stomach," or "She is fat. I don't want to be that one."

There's ample evidence that the ever-narrowing standard of beauty creates vulnerability in our girls to low self-esteem, negative body image, eating disorders, poor sexual choices. Not to mention the negative impact fat-shaming has on overweight kids. I think a lot about something that Gary Cross, a historian of childhood, once told me: that toys traditionally have communicated to children our expectations of their adult roles. What are we telling girls we expect of them with this?

The Atlantic

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:53 am 
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Quote:
Why 6-Year-Old Girls Want to Be Sexy
By Jennifer Abbasi
16 July 2012

Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects, according to a new study of elementary school-age kids in the Midwest.

Researchers have shown in the past that women and teens think of themselves in sexually objectified terms, but the new study is the first to identify self-sexualization in young girls. The study, published online July 6 in the journal Sex Roles, also identified factors that protect girls from objectifying themselves.

Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., used paper dolls to assess self-sexualization in 6- to 9-year-old girls. Sixty girls were shown two dolls, one dressed in tight and revealing "sexy" clothes and the other wearing a trendy but covered-up, loose outfit.

Using a different set of dolls for each question, the researchers then asked each girl to choose the doll that: looked like herself, looked how she wanted to look, was the popular girl in school, she wanted to play with.
sexy and non-sexy dolls

When shown a set of two dolls, one in revealing clothes and the other in trendy by covered-up clothes, about 70 percent of girls in the study said they looked more like the sexy doll and that the sexy doll was more popular than the non-sexy doll.

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Across-the-board, girls chose the "sexy" doll most often. The results were significant in two categories: 68 percent of the girls said the doll looked how she wanted to look, and 72 percent said she was more popular than the non-sexy doll.

"It's very possible that girls wanted to look like the sexy doll because they believe sexiness leads to popularity, which comes with many social advantages," explained lead researcher Christy Starr, who was particularly surprised at how many 6- to 7-year-old girls chose the sexualized doll as their ideal self.

Other studies have found that sexiness boosts popularity among girls but not boys. "Although the desire to be popular is not uniquely female, the pressure to be sexy in order to be popular is."

Important factors

Starr and her research adviser and co-author, Gail Ferguson, also looked at factors that influenced the girls' responses. Most of the girls were recruited from two public schools, but a smaller subset was recruited from a local dance studio. The girls in this latter group actually chose the non-sexualized doll more often for each of the four questions than did the public-school group. Being involved in dance and other sports has been linked to greater body appreciation and higher body image in teen girls and women, Starr said.

"It's possible that for young girls, dance involvement increased body esteem and created awareness that their bodies can be used for purposes besides looking sexy for others, and thus decreased self-sexualization." (The researchers cautioned, however, that a previous study found that young girls in "aesthetic" sports like dance are more concerned about their weight than others.)

Media consumption alone didn't influence girls to prefer the sexy doll. But girls who watched a lot of TV and movies and who had mothers who reported self-objectifying tendencies, such as worrying about their clothes and appearance many times a day, in the study were more likely to say the sexy doll was popular.

The authors suggest that the media or moms who sexualize women may predispose girls toward objectifying themselves; then, the other factor (mom or media) reinforces the messages, amplifying the effect. On the other hand, mothers who reported often using TV and movies as teaching moments about bad behaviors and unrealistic scenarios were much less likely to have daughters who said they looked like the sexy doll. The power of maternal instruction during media viewing may explain why every additional hour of TV- or movie-watching actually decreased the odds by 7 percent that a girl would choose the sexy doll as popular, Starr said. "As maternal TV instruction served as a protective factor for sexualization, it’s possible that higher media usage simply allowed for more instruction."

Mothers' religious beliefs also emerged as an important factor in how girls see themselves. Girls who consumed a lot of media but who had religious mothers were protected against self-sexualizing, perhaps because these moms "may be more likely to model higher body-esteem and communicate values such as modesty," the authors wrote, which could mitigate the images portrayed on TV or in the movies. [8 Ways Religion Impacts Your Life]

However, girls who didn’t consume a lot of media but who had religious mothers were much more likely to say they wanted to look like the sexy doll. "This pattern of results may reflect a case of 'forbidden fruit' or reactance, whereby young girls who are overprotected from the perceived ills of media by highly religious parents … begin to idealize the forbidden due to their underexposure," the authors wrote. Another possibility is that mothers of girls who displayed sexualized attitudes and behaviors had responded by restricting the amount of TV and movies their daughters could watch. Regardless, the authors underlined, "low media consumption is not a silver bullet" against early self-sexualization in girls.

What moms can do

Recent books like "The Lolita Effect" (Overlook TP, 2008) and "So Sexy So Soon" (Ballantine Books, 2009) have raised concerns that girls are being sexualized at a young age, and Starr said her study is the first to provide empirical evidence for the trend. In 2007, the American Psychological Association sounded the alarm in a report on the sexualization of girls. It documented consequences of self-objectification and sexualization that have been identified in mainly college-age women, ranging from distractibility during mental tasks and eating disorders to reduced condom use and fewer women pursuing careers in math and science. Starr and her colleagues wrote that they expected similar outcomes in younger adolescents and girls.

The APA report, which inspired the new study, cited widespread sexualization of women in popular culture. "In study after study, findings have indicated that women more often than men are portrayed in a sexual manner … and are objectified," the APA authors wrote. "These are the models of femininity presented for young girls to study and emulate."

The authors cited examples like "advertisements (e.g. the Sketchers naughty and nice ad that featured Christina Aguilera dressed as a schoolgirl in pigtails, with her shirt unbuttoned, licking a lollipop), dolls (e.g. Bratz dolls dressed in sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings and feather boas), clothing (e.g. thong underwear sized for 7- to 10-year-olds, some printed with slogans such as 'wink wink'), and television programs (e.g. a televised fashion show in which adult models in lingerie were presented as young girls)." Parents, teachers and peers were also cited as influencing girls' sexualized identities.

Eileen Zurbriggen, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and chairwoman of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, said the buffering effects of religious beliefs and instruction, co-viewing of media and lower levels of maternal self-objectification pinpointed by the new study are exciting, because they "suggest that parents can do a lot to protect girls from the sexualizing culture."

Starr agrees. "Mothers feel so overwhelmed by the sexualizing messages their daughters are receiving from the media that they feel they can do nothing to help," she said. "Our study's findings indicate otherwise — we found that in actuality, mothers are key players in whether or not their daughters sexualize themselves. Moms can help their daughters navigate a sexualizing world by instructing their daughters about their values and by not demonstrating objectified and sexualized behaviors themselves."

Starr studied the influence of mothers because there's more evidence that daughters model themselves after their mothers, but she believes that fathers may also play an important role in how young girls see themselves. She would also like to look at how fathers and the media influence boys' understanding of sexualized messages and views toward women. More research is also needed, she said, on the consequences of sexualization on young girls' health, well-being and identity, and whether young girls who objectify themselves also act out these sexual behaviors.

Live Science

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:58 am 
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A Thinly Veiled Problem
By Sarah Fisher
April 8, 2011

Seaver College psychology professor Jennifer Harriger finds that a girl’s obsession with her weight begins earlier than you might imagine.

Think about the last time you listened to the radio—chances are you heard a commercial jingle for weight-loss surgery. And try to recall the last time you went to a clothes store—the mannequins modeling the clothes were almost certainly idealized representations of real people, the women skimmed down, the men buffed up. Now try to recall the last time you looked in the mirror. Did you perhaps insult your own body with a disparaging comment about an expanding gut or loss of muscle tone?

It’s nearly impossible to escape the barrage of images and scenarios perpetuating the ideal body type, but little research has been done to examine how the accumulation of these minor, everyday instances impacts very young children and their perception of weight-related issues. What Jennifer Harriger, assistant professor of psychology at Seaver College, discovered in her recent study of preschool girls is that those as young as age 3 are not only aware of the “thin ideal,” but they also believe in and perpetuate negative stereotypes about people who do not fall into the ideal spectrum of body size.

“I was shocked that children so young seemed to have such strong beliefs about overweight individuals,” says Harriger, who published the study in the psychological journal Sex Roles, along with three fellow researchers.

In one of the study’s exercises, a researcher played a popular board game, such as Chutes and Ladders or Candyland, with one of the 55 preschool girls in the study. The researcher let them choose one of three character pieces to move around the board: a thin character, an average figure, or an overweight one. “Their comments really surprised me,” Harriger recalls. “A lot of the 3-year-olds said to me, ‘I hate her; she’s fat.’ Or, ‘her stomach is big; I don’t want to be her.’ That was really concerning to me, that children so young already had such strong beliefs about what it means to be overweight.”

Harriger’s concern about the impact of the thin ideal in our society is backed up by well-known examples of extreme behavior, such as models Isabelle Caro and Ana Carolina Reston, who both recently passed away due to complications from anorexia nervosa. The media or fashion industries occasionally attempt to ease concerns about the standardized “ideal” figure of sizes 0-2—such as designer Mark Fast’s inclusion of “plus size” models at last year’s London Fashion Week—yet women on the runways get skinnier every year and actresses get smaller as their fame expands.

Adults and adolescents have more of an understanding of the media and other factors that contribute to the thin ideal whereas children don’t really understand,” Harriger explains. “Research shows that those who have internalized the thin ideal are at higher risk for body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, or even depression. So my concern is that today’s children might now be at an even higher risk than adults.”

The idea to study very young girls actually came from interacting with adolescents and women battling eating disorders. Harriger had completed her bachelor’s degree in biology from West Chester University and her master’s degree in clinical and health psychology from Drexel University, and was working at an inpatient facility in Pennsylvania for women in the throes of anorexia, bulimia, or compulsive overeating disorders. People develop eating disorders for a variety of complex reasons, but Harriger was struck by a common revelation.

“One thing that came up over and over again with the clients I treated was that as long as they could remember, they hated their bodies,” she comments. “And some of them talked about having this feeling at a really young age. So I became interested in why this might develop at such a young age and what are things we could do for kids this young?”

When she dug a little deeper, Harriger found there was very little research about preschool-age children, who are old enough to register body stereotypes but too young to adequately express themselves in a self-aware manner. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, she pursued a PhD in developmental psychology from the University of New Mexico and after receiving her diploma, she set about creating this study of preschool girls.

She collected a random sample of 55 girls ages 3 to 5 from Albuquerque, some of whom had been socialized at preschool while others remained at home with parents and siblings. The board game set-up was designed to assess the emotional investment the girls had with whichever character pieces they selected to play the game. An overwhelming majority of the girls in the study chose the thin playing piece over the average or large pieces. When asked if they would trade their piece with the researcher, over half the girls (52.6 percent) who had chosen thin characters were unwilling to trade their game piece for an average or fat-bodied piece.

Harriger and her study coauthors also highlighted in their findings: “It is noteworthy that we could not perform the reverse analysis to test the willingness of preschool girls to switch the fat-body game piece for the thin-body game piece, as so few girls initially selected the fat-body game piece as their character to play the game with.”

“This got at the idea of whether it was something that was actually important to the child,” Harriger notes, deducing that girls who had not internalized the thin ideal might be more willing to “become” a larger character for the board game. Instead, a surprising number of the girls refused to even touch the fat pieces.

In the second experiment of the study, Harriger and her colleagues presented the girls with a sheet of paper displaying three female figures of different body sizes: very thin, average, and very fat. The children were then asked to point to the figure they thought best matched one of 12 descriptors, including positive traits such as nice, smart, and neat, and negative traits such as mean, stupid, and sloppy. The findings were as discouraging as Harriger expected.

“Previous research has found that children as young as 3 endorse the same stereotypes that adults endorse, and will say things like, ‘overweight people are mean or have fewer friends’ compared to average or thin people,” Harriger explains. The results showed that, overwhelmingly, thin figures were appraised with positive attributes, and that even average figures accumulated more negative adjectives than the thin image.

Harriger says that most of the children were themselves average size and that at 3 years old were not necessarily making the sizable leap from identifying and objectifying the body shapes of others to actually critiquing their own. “I think there are a lot of concerns for girls who don’t conform to the ideal body type,” Harriger adds. “They might be at high risk for appearance-related teasing from other children, children who have internalized the thin ideal.”

A plethora of psychological studies point to the fact that children who endure criticism, teasing, and especially bullying, are also more likely to develop body dissatisfaction and eating disorders as they reach adolescence and adulthood. Harriger hopes that her study, which was picked up and distributed by Fox News and other media outlets last fall, might help raise awareness among adults that their words and behaviors can impact young children. She highlights the all-too-common problem of women loudly and publicly espousing aggressively negative comments about their own figures.

“A mother looking in the mirror and saying ‘I look so disgusting today, I need to lose weight’. . . well, the child is picking up on that,” affirms Harriger. “Parents often think their child is too young to pick up on that, but they’re not.”

Although approximately 1 million U.S. males are afflicted, females are 10 times more likely to suffer from eating disorders, says the National Eating Disorders Association. Harriger is now collecting data to replicate the study with boys in an effort to learn how preschool children of both genders are affected by the thin ideal. “The research uses figures of other boys to see if they are as aware of body stereotypes as girls, asks if they have internalized these stereotypes, and if so, does it occur in the same way as with girls?”

Another future project Harriger is considering involves developing programs or a curriculum with parents and schools to help train children to recognize that they are not merely the sum of their parts. She hopes that by reaching children with that message while they are still young, it may help to balance out society’s predominant “thin ideal.”

“It’s much easier to start with very young children and teach them ways of thinking than it is to try to reverse what has been learned already when they get older,” Harriger says. “I know it’s a cliché—but what’s on the inside is more important than what’s on the outside, and our society has lost sight of that.”

Pepperdine Magazine

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 Post subject: Re: Barbie - always a lively discussion on WBB
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:22 pm 
orange scribe

Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:38 pm
Posts: 5278
She said for awhile, not indefinitely...

Why the heck are we spending so much time talking about a piece of plastic?

It's a piece of molded plastic. If we follow this same train of thought it'll lead us to a lot of frustration without a lot of end benefit.

What studies have shown that a life with a Barbie that looks more like the female body DOES (not in theory, but actually does) decrease chances of eating disorders and increase body satisfaction significantly enough it carries through adulthood?

I don't know of any such study. I also don't know any stint without a lot of other possible variables that pens bad body image on Barbie.

Does that happen for some? Probably... But the act that Pete had a dragon and I didn't made me feel bad about myself... Should we outlaw movies with magical dragons?

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