When I was a little girl I used to play with Barbie all the time. I had different expansion sets and clothing that I would enjoy changing and playing with. However, I did not come to realize that Barbie affected me in a less than positive way. I believed that women were only supposed to wear heels and be skinny with perky breasts. Due to this, I was very unhappy with my body for a short period of time. Additionally, Barbie was marketed to be a stereotypical valley girl who was only interested in the material things of life, therefore, I thought that was how I was supposed to act as well. There are more negative effects of Barbie that is too long to explain in this short blog. So, I want to leave some tips for you parents to follow when your child is playing with Barbies.
- Make sure that your child understands that a normal human being cannot obtain the Barbie doll body naturally.
- Show your child the extensive list of Barbie’s occupations and encourage them that they can do anything they put their mind to.
- Try to steer your child away from participating in the stereotypical gender roles that Barbie sometimes display. For example, show them how Barbie even had jobs in STEM fields rather than just being a model, rich, or a teacher.
- Expose your child to the new Barbie body types and explain to them that is it okay to be different. Explain to them that being curvy or having a curvy Barbie is not a weird thing.
- Make sure to relay to your child that they are beautiful just the way they are. Teach them that they do not have to adapt themselves so that they can grow up and look like a doll.
Overall, make sure to monitor your child’s activity in regard to Barbie. She may not have an impact at all on your child but, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. No parent wants to see their child to grow with false conceptions and low-self esteem because of the messages the Barbie franchise has marketed towards children.