Dolls: The reason for body issues?
Discovering the real reason for body issues
There has been an ongoing debate as to whether or not playing with dolls at a young age has caused females to grow up believing that they have to be thin and physically beautiful. I have to say that I don’t believe that girls look at dolls and think to themselves, “Gosh, I wish I was this thin” or “I hope one day to look this beautiful”. If they do, I don’t think it lasts long; I think they soon see that in reality, dolls are simply plastic objects that were made by a company.
It makes sense though that people have come to wonder about the effect dolls have on how young women view themselves. All one has to do to be convinced that young women strive to look like the plastic toys is to go to http://www.humanbarbie.org/ . This site in my opinion is utterly disturbing and yes, sends a horrible message to young (and older) women everywhere. However, this is different than children playing and admiring dolls. Why? It’s simple, dolls are fake and again, produced by companies. On the other hand, these ‘Human Barbies’ as they are calling themselves, are real women striving to look like something that shouldn’t be taken seriously.
When I was younger and played with dolls, I never really focused on wanting to someday look like them. Sure I played house and pretended that they were getting ready for their date with Ken, but that was really the extent of it. Even if I had wished to one day be as pretty as a Barbie Doll, I don’t think that Mattel or any companies for that matter that make dolls are to blame for this. As a woman grows up, she learns from her parents, her friends, other forms of media, and most importantly, herself, how she wants to look.
The bottom line is that I don’t feel dolls are to blame for women (and men) wanting to look attractive. I think each individual takes in what is seen as “beautiful” and from there does with it what they feel is right. For example, I know that many women wear makeup and I know that’s what is sadly expected out of females. I’ve chosen not to, however, and I’m okay with that. Also, many women feel the need to be really thin. While I happen to be thin, I actually wish I weighed a little more. Not everyone has the same beauty goals for themselves and each individual had their own unique feelings on the subject of how they look. I personally don’t want to look like the “Human Barbie” and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I want to look real, not like something that was produced and sold in stores.
I think children should be allowed to play with dolls. If parents are concerned about what it might do to their child’s outlook on life, I think they should teach them that dolls are different than human beings. If a son or daughter comes to their mother or father wanting to look like a Barbie or Ken, the parent should explain that looking like a doll is not what is important in life and that really, no one expects you to look that thin or that “beautiful”. Also, it doesn’t matter what others want you to look like, but rather that you feel comfortable in your own skin. It’s important to be happy and healthy, not perfect or what is sometimes falsely viewed as such.