Smart People Don’t Diet

How to eat well and be healthy through psychology, common sense, and the latest science.

Barbie Is a Swimsuit Model: Fake, Enhanced, and Plastic

Why is Barbie featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue? Do men really like "plastic" women? Are girls' body images affected by Barbie dolls? Read More

Why don't we

Why don't we ever hear men complaining about G.I. Joe's unrealistically muscular physique?

Wait! I know! Because men know G.I. Joe is just a toy, not a role model!!!!

I have a better idea, since

I have a better idea, since most women are too fat these days, not too thin, perhaps we focus on the real problem no one wants to talk about and not the made up one about Barbie?

Toy Story

I do agree with you that a doll can be considered as a real-life role model. But I don't think the problem is where its attended at, such as those on top. Is adults who should get called out for choosing a doll as this role model. And granted, I don't buy the studies about owning a toy it makes you more likely to experience low self-esteem. Is more than that.

We men don't have any toys-- actually, never mind(lol). We do have our own toys, such as Batman. And a character like Batman gets treated like a real person. But do you think there will be an outcry if Bruce Wayne was named as one of the top influential people in the world? To be honest, probably not. Heck, I'll probably cry. Lol

So yeah, you may have a point directing your criticisms, and odds are these decisions are misdirected than well-intended. But I do agree overall: toys should not be a tool to perpetrate unrealistic portrayals. The heroes, the toys we all love -- and collect -- should be long-lasting memories about our own creative imaginations and possibilities. We're all adults here. Let's not try to do more for toys than what they already do to us: provide us with entertainment. And memories.

Real Women

And yet, Barbie dolls are among the first “adult” dolls that little girls play with. For many girls (and boys), they become the measuring stick with which to assess real women.

Really? The mother is usually the first human female a baby sees (aside from female health care professionals) and is the first human female a baby bonds with. Then there are aunts, cousins, grandmothers and other female toddlers - these are all *real* females. Why would a child put a plastic toy ahead of actual human females they encounter as a "measuring stick with which to assess real women"?


I am 56 years old. I loved my Barbie doll growing up, and my Chatty Cathy doll too. We also had trucks and I was a bit of a tomboy.

My Mom was my "measuring stick" not a plastic toy.

Worth comes from within

I think I'm one of the only women in the world who has never questioned her self worth. It seems many people want society to protect them from anything that could potentially harm their self-esteem. But I've never cared about social standards because I've always seen societies standards as being separate from mine.

The strange thing is I grew up in a negative environment. But somehow I never questioned myself. I always knew no matter what I was good enough even if nobody else thought so. Maybe because I was surrounded by such negative people I became my own best friend.

As for men wanting 'perfect women' that's just a fantasy and most men would be happy with just a normal looking woman. The same goes for women who crush on male celebrities. Most of the time it's just a harmless fantasy and we don't really hold others to those kinds of standards.

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Dr. Charlotte Markey is a health psychology professor at Rutgers University and author of Smart People Don't Diet.


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