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Life-Size Barbie Picture

Life-Size Barbie Is Anything but Perfect

When Galia Slayden was a little girl, she admired her Barbie's perfect blond hair and slim figure. When she entered high school and faced an eating disorder, she realized the body image Barbie portrayed was less than ideal. Using math, balloons, and other supplies, she built a life-size Barbie, pictured here, in time for National Eating Disorder Week. She showed it off at her school and later brought the Barbie to her college campus, too.

We've all likely heard facts about how ridiculous Barbie would look if she was a real woman, and Galia shares one I hadn't heard before in the Huffington Post: "If Barbie was a real woman, she'd have to walk on all fours." But seeing these proportions takes the unrealistic body to a much more shocking level.

This morning on the Today show, Galia explained that while she doesn't believe Barbie gives people eating disorders, the doll does play a role in a young girl's development. As for the goal of her project, she says: "It's beyond the actual Barbie herself. It's really about finding who you are. Not wanting to become Barbie, not wanting to become this celebrity, that person. It's about finding that internal you." Mattel has defended itself, maintaining: "Barbie is a doll who stands at 11.5 inches tall and weighs 7.25 ounces — she was never modeled on the proportions of a real person."

Do you think this life-size Barbie could help improve young women's body images?

Join The Conversation
lovelittle lovelittle 6 years
i think her math was a tad off...especially around the head and arm area....
Katie-Sweeney Katie-Sweeney 6 years
This Barbie looks like something out of my nightmares! EEEEK!
Tara-Block Tara-Block 6 years
I loved Barbie, too, and don't think as kids we're thinking "this is the body I should aspire to have," but it's just the first in a long line of unrealistic bodies we look at our entire lives that include other girls with different body types than our own, airbrushed models and celebs, etc. that may subconsciously shape our dissatisfaction about our own bodies. We're always going to compare ourselves to other people, so I don't feel like poor body image can be solved by taking away the comparisons as much as just teaching what it means to accept ourselves as we are and live a healthy lifestyle.
jamie-ferrari jamie-ferrari 6 years
I loved Barbie when I was a kid, but Barbie looked a lot like Lucy Ball. It was before Barbie had implants, rhinoplasty, or hair extensions. When my daughter was small I asked people to not give her Barbies as gifts. Luckily, my daughter had no interest in Barbie anyway. I think this life sized Barbie is a great reminder that nobody can look like Barbie, nor should they aspire to. I forward to the day when Matel will make Barbie and her friends look more like real women.
Elliluv Elliluv 6 years
I agree with what everyone has said so far. All I know is that back when I played with Barbies, her body was the last thing on my mind. I never compared Barbie's body to my own or any other womans body. It didn't even enter my mind til it became an issue/hot topic.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 6 years
I played with Barbie and seriously, never gave a thought to the fact that I didn't get her boobs when I turned sweet 16. I didn't scrutinize her body as a young girl, I just did her hair, changed her clothes, and put her on my Breyer horses, even though she didn't fit. If I had body image issues, it was because in general, girls back in the 70's in my high school were thin and in shape. I was average build, but still felt big compared to them, and they were NOT anorexic, although would be called that by some people today. Teenagers today are just heavier...they just are. I see them in line at Starbucks getting their 700 calorie coffee drinks, then sitting down to the computer on Facebook or texting for hours without moving, and so no wonder. Please stop blaming a piece of plastic for the fact that we have become lazy in teaching kids about proper nutrition and exercise while they are still young enough to be influenced.
JJJSisters JJJSisters 6 years
As much people always said Barbies gave girls poor self-image, it was just a doll. What's the average age girls play with them? 3-7? Girls aren't really thinking size proportion or about their bodies much anyway. I think body image problems result from shows/realbody discussions more often than a doll.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 6 years
I don't think this should be taken too seriously, she's just making a point to not compare yourself to beauty ideals in a pretty silly way with this doll.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I don't blame Barbie, and it's skewed, sure. If you wanted to call it an art project, I think it's an interesting way to represent the absurdity of it all. And if this has helped the author with her own self-esteem struggles, then great. But in all seriousness, this is going to make elongated mutant girls feel terrible about themselves.
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