On Our Radar: A Barbie We Like

Here’s a barbie (and a DIY project) that we can get down with, even though she is not Asian American:

Most women who played with Barbie dolls have a love/hate relationship with them. On one hand, they are a part of childhood that we can all relate to (99 percent of little girls in the U.S. have at least one Barbie), and on the other, most of us can remember thinking about how we wanted to look like her when we grew up — or expecting to, which is an extremely common idea. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to grow up into the physical proportions of a Barbie doll; and we wouldn’t want to anyway — if Barbie was a real woman she would be too thin to menstruate (not to mention her neck would be freakishly long!).
While we have all long-suspected that Barbie dolls might also contribute to the poor self-esteem and body image issues that seem to start earlier and earlier in little girls, we now have some pretty good science to back up that idea (see below). But Barbie is ingrained in American culture. So how do we deal with the issue of an iconic toy hurting children? We can’t just outlaw them. Nickolay Lamm of mydeals.com decided to use data and creativity to address the issue. He created a doll that looks like Barbie but has the measurements of an average 19-year-old American woman (with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). He made the original model on a 3-D printer, then converted it to look just like a Barbie doll in other ways. Nickolay wrote, “The end result is what Barbie would look like if she was a healthy, beautiful, 19 year old woman.”

Read the full story here.

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Lisa LeeOn Our Radar, barbie