I stumbled upon something very interesting considering all the time I spend writing about self-image and weight issues. I found it on Facebook of all places on a page about Plus Size Modeling.
It seems a debate has sprung up about creating a Plus Size Barbie doll. There are many people voicing their thoughts and adding their opinions about the need for a plump partner to the traditional slim and sexy gal next door that Ken knows and loves.
All in all, I consider myself a pretty decisive person and it usually doesn’t take me very long to make up my mind, but I have to admit, I’m on the fence about this one. My initial reaction to the thought of Barbie packing on a few pounds and still being an icon appealed to me because I instantly thought about how much more accepting girls might become of their own bodies and imperfections. But then I thought that maybe it would send the message of being too accepting of a habit and behavior that was not healthy and could lead to even more severely unhealthy habits and behaviors later on in life. I certainly don’t want to encourage being overweight either.
I see it as a pretty fine line between being okay with our imperfections and encouraging harmful behaviors. Perhaps if Plus-Size Barbie comes with running gear, a sweat suit and a treadmill so she can work out and maintain healthy habits I would be more likely to see it as a good thing. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t feel good about advocating behaviors that cause a person to become overweight.
It is not right to advocate underweight either and I know that historically and even currently, our society still pushes our women to achieve the ideal look which tends to be too thin and unhealthy. It also has been the catalyst of many young girls harming themselves by eating too little and emotionally scarring themselves by failing to accept themselves and their bodies.
Why do we have to go to extremes? I would feel much better about this if we could find the middle of the road somewhere, not advocating too much of anything. Maybe I will start a group on facebook where we could develop a “Healthy-Weight Barbie.” I wonder if that would have a lot of followers. Who’s with me?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!