If You Have A Problem With ‘Fat Barbie,’ You Should Have A Problem With ‘Disproportionately Skinny’ Barbie, Too

The Plus Size Modeling page on Facebook asked it’s readers a question this week: Should toy companies start making plus sized Barbie dolls? They used a winning image of a plus sized Barbie from Worth1000.com – a site where artists compete in daily creative competitions – to illustrate their question:


Over 36,000 “liked” the image on Facebook, so there are definitely those who are into the idea of a larger Barbie. But, as expected there was the usual round-up of fat shaming quotes that go along with a story like this.

I think everyone understands that obesity – having a body fat percentage of 30% or more – is not healthy. We get it. It is way better for you to be at a healthy weight. My problem with the “fat isn’t healthy” arguments that inevitably circle stories like these is simple – why is it okay to model a completely unhealthy body type if the pendulum swings in the other direction? Super skinny is always okay. Fat – nope.

Do I think it’s okay to model obesity to young kids by making a fat Barbie? Well, why not? There are plenty of dolls that model images that I may not feel are ideal. Have you seen the makeup on a Bratz Doll? Holy hideous. What about the questionable fashion choices of the Monster High Dolls? I would never let my high schooler leave the house in one of those outfits. There are plenty of dolls out there that grate on our nerves and offend our sensibilities – but they still exist. Why shouldn’t this one, too?

I loved Barbies when I was a kid. I don’t recall ever feeling like I literally wanted to look like one, though. What would be the harm of manufacturing an obese Barbie? Might we actually for once represent some body types that are never represented in this arena? Gasp! That would be awful. Dolls are a fantasy. If we can indulge in the fantasy of skeletal teenagers and Barbies with a waist size never seen on a human, ever – I don’t see why we can’t throw some big thighs into the mix.


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