Girls, self-esteem and body confidence
Why we are backing the new Barbie
This week I attended the launch of the new Barbie body types in Melbourne. The new doll shapes are part of the 2016 Barbie Fashionistas doll line showing off new body shapes, tall, curvy and petite. They also feature a variety of new skin tones, hairstyles and outfits.
When I was growing up I was more inclined to reach for a Transformer or a basketball than I did for a Barbie. So when my daughter Autumn came along and was undeniably a ‘Barbie’ girl, I really started thinking more in depth about Barbie and what she represented to young girls.
If you couldn’t be the tall, perfectly proportioned blonde you had to be Barbies ‘friend’. Still tall and perfectly proportioned, but just her friend.
In 57 years Barbie’s body shape hasn’t changed. 57 years!!! Wow, I think we have all come a long way since then, which is why I’m excited to be sharing this message and this story with you.
When it comes to young girls, their body image and self-esteem has never been in more of a crisis than right now. Not only are our young girls hammered with images of the ‘perfect’ body type but boys are also being subjected to images of the way that girls ‘should’ look. You only have to look at the barrage of insanely nasty comments on a photo posted by Leonardo Dicaprio of his mum holding him in 1976, where you could see she had a hairy armpit, to realise there is still a hell of a long way to go. Why is a little bit of hair ridiculously offensive to so many people??!! What messages are we as adults sending our kids? Are they supposed to look a certain way? Natural isn’t normal? That they have no choice?
As well as our own personal choices, we have a responsibility to our children to be behaving in a way that is confident, pro-choice, non-judgmental and above all, NON BULLYING. You can explain this to a child until your head falls off but let’s be clear, if they see us acting in a way different to what we preach the damage is done three fold. Monkey see, monkey do. That is a fact.
We all know that the number one place our children gather information on how they look or how they are ‘suppose’ to look is by listening to the self-talk of their hero’s, us. What we say when we look into a mirror, the language that we use and how we talk about clothes fitting our body is engrained in our children’s memory from a very young age so lets’ not pass the responsibility off to Barbie.
But when a huge corporation like Mattel evolve and change an iconic brand like Barbie to move with the times and help support young girls around the world we know that we are slowly but surely moving in a positive direction. Everyone can now be Barbie and every body is beautiful. How powerful is that!