Is Barbie Ruining the Minds of Kids?


The iconic Barbie doll has recently experienced a change in face with hopes of reconstructing the upcoming generation’s minds about body image.

Julie Day, Staff Writer

Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie, recently began production of Barbie dolls sporting different skin tones, heights, and body shapes. In theory, these dolls should be showcasing body positivity to the developing minds of young kids; however, should younger generations be exposed to issues in body image?

Elementary school is a simple place for most; kids have very few things to worry about, one of which is what lunch-line to pick. Usually they do not spend their time physically comparing themselves to other kids. However, these new Barbies are causing them to think, which the point is of course, but instead of impressing positivity into their minds, the toys are causing kids to question their own body image.

“Do you think, because I don’t look like any of these Barbies, I am not pretty? I mean, my friends all have ones that look like them, but none of these look like me. I get teased from it,” formulated a seven year old girl in response to the new dolls.

Congratulations Barbie, children are thinking about body image, but is this a good thing? The new dolls are prematurely exposing issues to kids they are not mentally capable of understanding. Young girls and boys do not typically spend hours in front of a mirror criticizing their body; however, the new faces of Barbie may change that fact.

While there are kids who enjoy the fact that these dolls are substantially more realistic, is that not what American Girl dolls are for? American Girl produces a line of dolls labeled “Truly Me.” These dolls have distinctive characteristics that girls can match to their own, such as hair color and length, eye color, and ethnicity. While drastically more expensive, American Girl is famous for the dolls they produce. Mattel is not the first to fathom the idea of diverse dolls.

Is Mattel trying to match the success of American Girl, or are the new dolls an endeavor honestly about spreading body positivity? Surely the price tag on these new Barbies will be the answer.