Reimagining Barbie: Villain or Victim?

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By Lisa Wade, PhD at Sociological Images Earlier this year, Barbie posed for Sports Illustrated, triggering a round of eye-rolling and exasperation among those who care about the self-esteem and overall mental health of girls and women. Barbie replied with the hashtag #unapologetic, arguing in an — I’m gonna guess, … [Read more...]

Childhood, Selfhood, and the American Girl

Photo by Tasayu Tasnaphun

By Allison Epstein, Intern 2013 It’s amazing how much of an impact our favorite childhood toys can have on us years and decades later. If I asked you what toy you treasured back in the day, what would you say? Maybe we have some Lego people out there, or Easy Bake Oven folks, or for children of the nineties like me, Doodle … [Read more...]

Skinny, Curvy, and Still Not Fitting the Mold

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By Chelsey Anderson Whether you're a seasoned body image activist or an average consumer of Western media, no doubt you've noticed the battle between the “curvy” and skinny body ideal. After decades of being bombarded with images of extremely thin models and starving ourselves to fit the waif-mold many women and … [Read more...]

Subverting the Beauty Paradigm: Questioning the Relationship Between Body Image and Self Image, in Yoga & Beyond

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By Carol Horton A few weeks ago at my oldest son’s 8th grade graduation, I watched one 14-year-old girl after another walk awkwardly but determinedly across the school auditorium stage in skin-tight strapless mini-dresses and high stiletto heels. This was the first time that I’d seen these young teenage girls, many of whom … [Read more...]

Barbie Goes Bald and It’s Not So Beautiful

From Bald and Beautiful Facebook Campaign

By Pia Guerrero, Co-Founder/Editor A couple weeks ago I re-posted, via a friend, a similar statement to the one below on the Adios Barbie Facebook page:  "Mattel should make a Barbie with no hair so that every little girl fighting cancer feels beautiful!! The wish for this petition is that the Barbie is also named Hope and a … [Read more...]

Remembering Ruby

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By Sharon Haywood, Co-Editor Fifty-something-old Barbie[1] might be middle-aged but she sure doesn’t show it. When she was in her 30s, her manufacturer Mattel sent her for plastic surgery, not to maintain her youthful appearance, but rather in response to market demands to morph her into a more realistic-looking doll. In 1992, … [Read more...]

Dolls: It Matters If You’re Black or White

The Los Rebeldes Dolls (Rebel Dolls)

By Whitney, Contributor (Originally published August 2009) As a college student, I had spent most of my college career wrestling with the concept of how I have white privilege. Through my studies, I tried to learn about and deconstruct our society's power structure and my place in it. Recently, in a Northern California … [Read more...]

The False Mirror: On Diversity, Bizarre Barbies, and Body Image Activism

Photo by Ilene Seganove, ‘The Dissatisfactions Of Ilene Segalove’

By Sayantani DasGupta There’s a character on television’s The Vampire Diaries who is called “Vampire Barbie.” Which I think is kind of ironic. Because on the one hand, vampires aren’t supposed to see themselves in mirrors – and yet, that’s what the cultural icon of Barbie is all about. A certain kind of unattainable, … [Read more...]

Barbie’s Plummeting Neckline Causes Uproar

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"'Busty Barbie' in Mattel's new Back to Basics Barbie collection is too revealing for some parents" by Tracy Miller at the NY Daily News  Barbie has always been known for her curves - but a new doll from Mattel is upping the ante, much to some parents' consternation. … [Read more...]

PinkStinks: Challenging Girly Stereotypes

Mark Hall/Getty Images

Not So Pretty In Pink: Are Girls' Toys Too Girly? by Beth Gardiner at Time Twin sisters Abi and Emma Moore noticed a few years ago how different their south London houses looked as Abi's started filling up with her sons' toy dinosaurs and trains and Emma's turned pink and girly with her daughters' playthings. Already frustrated … [Read more...]