“Sorry I’m not sorry” – Barbie

Poor Barbie. Girl just can’t catch a break. On again, off again with Ken, hopping around from job to job, and now, public scrutiny over whether she’s a good role model to young girls. She should just get in that sassy pink convertible and leave all the haters behind, except there’s one thing holding her back…she’s an inanimate object!

Another day, another meaningless battle against America’s sweetheart. The latest, an argument that Barbie is detrimental to a young girl’s body image. Some women, (and maybe men, but I doubt they’re on this crusade) fear that Barbie’s 3 inch waist, dainty appendages, and perky chest will set the standard for beauty. Barbie = beautiful, so Thin = beautiful. Therefore, I need to look like her in order to have any real inherent value.

I was a girl once, (hard to believe) so I can tell you first hand, I NEVER thought these things. I was thinking, ‘I wanna cut Barbie’s hair!’ ‘Wow, I’m so good at cutting hair!’ ‘Cool, I can bend her arm back really far!’ I didn’t look up to Barbie or try to emulate her. I played with her, because she was a plastic toy. Children don’t associate the meaning of things or relevance of objects to life until adults clue them in. Body image is gathered from personal experience and perception. Because “normal” is subjective not objective, children don’t put a label on what is good or bad, normal or abnormal until someone (usually an adult) plants the seed.

So Barbie is being criticized for being herself. (Or rather Mattel is being bashed for the scale to which they size their dolls.) But the pillage against Barbie has been similarly geared at models like the ones that grace the covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editions. Are these models setting an unrealistic standard for beauty?  “They aren’t REAL women” are the fighting words that spew up the most. So long as they are living, breathing, and feel like a woman, that’s real in my book.

Which brings me to the issue of body shaming. Why on God’s good earth, as a woman, would you ever shame another woman about her looks? Fat shaming has been an issue for years, but now thin shaming is the new trend. If you can tell me to “eat a sandwich” why can’t I tell you to “switch to skim”? Because both are wrong and disgusting. If you want to make an argument for health, great! I applaud you for that! But unless you are their doctor, you should really keep their dietary concerns out of the equation.

I love when people defend their Barbie hate with the, If Barbie were scaled to human size, argument. If brought to life, Barbie’s thin neck would not be able to hold up her head, her tiny torso could not contain all vital organs, and she would be wheel-chair bound since she’s too top heavy to walk. So, if Barbie were a “real” woman she would be disabled. And anyone heading the charge on shaming a handicapped woman should be lynched. I know this is a ludicrous idea, but a ridiculous defense gets a ridiculous response.

Barbie is “#unapologetic because a woman should never have to apologize for the way she looks or the lifestyle choices she makes. They only thing there is to apologize for is how you treat another woman, and I must say, Barbie’s been quite a doll.

(This post was inspired by my recent appearance on Fox and Friends discussing the latest campaign between Mattel’s Barbie and S.I.’s 50th Anniversary Swim Cover. Read more about the #unapologetic campaign here).

9 thoughts on ““Sorry I’m not sorry” – Barbie

  1. As usual Joanne, you brought proper perspective to this issue and if the haters would read it, they might learn something and move on.

  2. When I was a kid, my sister had a Barbie doll. I also thought, “Hey, I want to cut her hair.” But it was immediately followed by “Wow, I should NOT go into the business of hair cutting.” And then she broke a pedal off of my BigWheels in retaliation.

  3. Thanks for your no-nonsense comments on Barbie. As a father of three daughters, there was a period of time when we were literally drowning in Barbies. Mattel certainly knows what they are doing! My girls never obsessed with Barbie’s appearance, but they did always manage to decapitate Ken!

  4. Your self worth should come from within, not from a silly doll or anything else. Our culture has become so obsessed with what one looks like and that needs to change. I feel that women are God’s gift to men and as such bring so much more to the table than a shapely pair of legs or a well developed bosom. Women that are all beauty and no brains lose their appeal fairly quickly with me, I don’t tolerate idiots very well. Make no mistake I enjoy a beautiful woman as much as the next person, but I also understand that a woman’s beauty comes from what she contributes to society, looks are only part of the equation. I have worked for and with women that were smart and sharp, these women earned my respect. To me a sexy woman is a confident, intelligent, strong woman.

  5. I cannot comment on the women that judge and hate, but i will say my “preference” was always curvacious women. I dont think that makes me one of the haters. However i will admit, i was in a bar one time and a very skinny woman walked passed me, And i had drank a little.. I yelled out, “Jesus!! Eat a Cheeseburger!!!” I will never forget that night even though i was drinking. That woman turned and looked at me and had clearly heard what i rudely yelled. She immediately sat down at my table and started to tell me how she knows she is too skinny and she tries to eat to gain weight,, at this point i was having trouble listening to her because i felt so bad for my words and thoughts. She talked to me for almost an hour and at the end we went and danced a bit and ended the night as friends and had a fun time. I learned a little that night not only about myself, but about women. This is what i think i learned. For every fat girl with emotional issues there is as many skinny girls with the same issues and that goes for those middle curvacious women. For all of my “preferences”, i find that i put myself into a box and now i feel the most sexy of the opposite sex, is those that are simply happy with themselves. I think it’s one of the most rare things in women, to be happy with yourself and though most wont ever live up to their own standards, You can build a woman’s confidence and the more confidence they have, the sexier they are, regardless of the size of their ass. I will also say, since i have grown older, i realize the importance on health and I do know you can be skinny and unhealthy, but i think the people overweight are more so “unhealthy” than the skinny folks. So with that realization, i still care about people and want them to be healthy and live their lives as fulfilled as can be. Today, i love skinny Barbie, Curvacious Barbie and Big Girl Barbie. Women are amazing, plain and simple.

    Glad to see you got a regular spot on Red Eye, You really add a lot to the show and as i have said before, you are going to hit big. Except i will admit, since you called, well folks like me, creepy 40 year olds that follow you on twitter, i have taken note and i have shaved off my mustache,, Sold my 70s van with the blacked out windows and the Indian woman painting on the side. I have also stopped driving around the block of Fox Studios as i only own a Scooter now…Oh and the most important, I burned my Members Only jacket….

    Keep up the great work and in the most none creepy way, i look forward to seeing your career blossom.

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