Why My Parents Never Let Us Have Barbies

As a child, us Taylor girls were never into the iconic doll growing up. Maybe it was the oddity of having naked dolls lying around, or the fact that their hair inevitably became a frizzled mass- but to our parents, it was something more serious.

The iconic blond Barbie represented a unrealistic cultural standard that my parents wanted nothing to do with. When we were gifted Barbies- they found their way to Goodwill immediately (sorry to my old  birthday party pals!) It was just the way things were.

Not until I was an adult did I fully appreciate the underlying message my parents were communicating. Like Nikolai Lamm’s recent demonstration, it’s ok to rebel against “perfection”.

There’s much more that could be said on the topic, but for now- enjoy the photos and video clip. 

If Barbie had the proportions of a normal 19 year old girl

If Barbie had the proportions of a normal 19 year old girl

screen-capture-12 screen-capture-13

 

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3 Responses to Why My Parents Never Let Us Have Barbies

  1. I’ve also heard that if Barbie was a human, she actually would fall over! She isn’t realistically proportioned at all! I was never allowed Barbies either, for body image reasons, but also because Barbies tend to get played with inappropriately-if you know what I mean ;) And…also the whole naked thing isn’t a plus either…LOL!
    I found the photos side by side very interesting! Thanks for sharing, Christa!
    ~Natasha

  2. Amber says:

    My older sister and I grew up playing with Barbies, but we were so naive that I didn’t even know they were associated with so many negative things. “OUR” barbies ( :) ) got dressed up in pioneer dresses and bonnets and rode in covered wagons made from shoe boxes. Thinking back on it, I suppose those perfect bodies of our barbies really should have caused problems in our little girl minds, but thankfully they didn’t. Didn’t even think about it. We just had hours of fun running away from Indians and escaping the dangers of the wilderness. :) I’m sure the clothes we put on them was a big reason we never thought about their bodies – almost all their clothes were made by hand (thankfully we have a mom and grandma who both love to sew!). ….But it was really interesting to see these pictures showing “Barbie” compared to a normal body. Quite freeing, actually. :)

  3. Lauren says:

    I never had barbies either, and definitely didn’t feel deprived! The other doll that bothers me in a huge way is the “Bratz” dolls–they are such a caricature of a woman’s body. My favorite doll growing up was my American Girl doll, and I still love her for her sweetness and charm!

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