This morning Mattel made a huge announcement and change to their iconic Barbie doll. They started selling online three different body types, Tall, petite, and curvy. These dolls will also hit store shelves on March 1st, and Mattel plans on rolling out 33 different dolls in 2016. Mattel is getting nothing but praise for making the change as the Barbie doll's figure has been proven impossible to replicate in real life and could potentially send a bad message to young girls, or boys. Having two girls myself, I am very sensitive to the pressures society puts on them. The images in media, the extremely thin models on the runway, the message of what beautiful should look like. But going through some of these articles on the new Barbies, there was one quote from spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni that caught my attention. On the new dolls, "the product line to be a better reflection of what girls see in the world around them." I thought what exactly does that mean?
Now I know what she means in the aspect that beauty comes in many different shapes, forms, and sizes. And that Barbie wasn't anywhere close to "all-inclusive". But I kind of thought that was the point right? That she was a single character, Barbie. But the backlash against Barbie has been going on for a long time, Evelyn Mazzacco who is head of Barbie says she gets hate mail. Mazzacco has three girls of her own! But I have personally been very troubled by the recent crucifixions we put people through in the name of political correctness. From school presidents to athletes to media figures and politicians. We will pull you off your pedestal so fast if you slip up and offend anyone. I think political correctness is actually a huge problem, sooner or later people will be too scared to even stand up for anything they believe in due to possible backlash. So I guess we will all have to play within the set boundaries. Kind of lukewarm don't you think?
Here we had an iconic doll, who has been around longer than I have, getting hate mail and death threats because of how she looks. Last time I checked Barbie is a toy right? Will there be a public backlash from naturally thin people due to the new Barbie? Of course not. That's not politically correct. There is a huge double standard in our society. But what stood out to me about this, what bothered me, was Chidoni's quote about how the new doll will reflect what we see in our current society. She's right, body types have changed over the years. We as a society have gotten a whole lot heavier, a whole lot unhealthier, and I'm not afraid to say it. Because childhood obesity and lifestyle diseases continue to rise. From heart disease to diabetes, which are largely controlled by eating habits and lifestyle. So what are we going to do? Keep adding layers to our dolls? Make it culturally acceptable for kids to be... should I not say it? Fat? Or obese? Let's just continue to adapt to what we see around us right? I'm not okay with that. Now, I don't think you have to look like Barbie to be "healthy". But where is the athletic build Barbie, the healthy weight Barbie, or the muscular build Barbie? Let's promote health! Heck, how about even a "Health conscientious Barbie who grows her own organic produce"?
I do not want my words or message construed or taken as insensitive. I just see a trend that bothers me. Taking PE out of school, removing things like the timed mile or the Presidential push-up and sit-up challenges. Because it offends people. What are we? A bunch of wimps? Who get offended by everything? What offends me is we continue to feed our future leaders of this country garbage. Don't crucify Barbie! Crucify the fast food companies, the soda companies, the corporations who have no interest in your child's health and well-being. Childhood obesity is killing our kids, not a doll.
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