The Barbie Doll Illusion

If you’re a teenage girl, I’m sure you have your own growing stack of magazines. Whether it be Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Vogue, or People (or Teen People), they all have something in common-those stick figures that almost every girl above the age of 9 both worship and adore.

It’s the illusion that you have to be ‘perfect’, that all that you see in the flimsy pages of your four dollar magazine is what is desired and yearned for in life.
This delusion starts at a very young age. Maybe four, five, six. Girls in the past, present and future generations have grown up, are growing up, or will grow up, with Barbie Dolls, the so-called spittin’ image of beauty.

But how attractive is Barbie, if she was scaled to real life proportions? If Barbie was real, she would look like this:

Galia posing with a real life size Barbie doll.

With her 39″ in bust, 18′ waist, 33″ hips,  stature of 6 ft, and size 3 shoes, she would have to walk on all fours. Not so attractive now, is she? Girls everywhere are looking at her as an icon, an idol. In fact, Galia Slayen’s eating disorder stemmed from looking up to Barbie as a young child.

Like Galia, you started to form the image of perfect in your head young.

And then as you grow into your tween years, you decide that Barbies and dolls are too childlike. You get magazines for your birthday, and as you flip through the pages this is basically what you see:

Teen star on the front page, model, model, clothes with models wearing them, models, clothes, actors, tampon ad with models jumping and dancing, models, clothes, article, article with model, clothes, makeup, makeup, models, tampon ad with models doing sports, makeup tips, article.

Fascinated with the icons of beauty, you experiment with makeup. You raid your mom or sister’s makeup stash, and slather on all that you can. Then you raid their closets; short dresses, high heels, leather purses. Then the jewelery big hoop earrings, a faux gold necklace, and glass bead bracelet. Perfect.

Then, it’s your 13th birthday-you are officially a teen! You go ask your mom for makeup, and voilà, the next day your both at Macy’s, shopping for the right look. Your mom wants a neutral, down to earth, natural look, but you’re over at the other aisle, looking at the bright fun colours. Ooh, purple eyeshadow! Bright pink lipstick! Or maybe green eyeshadow will look better?

You convince your mother, some of this, some of that.

The first day of school starts, and you prepare: Hm, that mini black skirt with that cheetah tank top. Then, you curl your hair and apply the hairspray. Finally the makeup, black mascara and eyeliner, with the purple eyeshadow, and some blush. Perfect, your done!

Then, as you morph into a teen, you start seeing these TV shows and movies with these models and actresses, these beautiful, pretty, sexy icons. You tell yourself you will do whatever to look like them. After all, that’s what guys are attracted to, right?

So you would eat your normal diet, and exercise. Exercise, exercise. But then you notice the results aren’t that great so. So you get depressed, get stuck in a slump, until your friend tells you a secret.

“You see, Amy, your middle finger is your best friend.”

So you’d binge and binge, then throw it all up in the toilet afterwards. And repeat.

This, this vicious cycle of not being good enough, it’s happening everywhere, in all ages. From the young children playing with their Barbies, deciding they will look like that when they’re older, to the tweens being brainwashed, and to the teens battling eating disorders, it’s a real and present problem in this world.

And if you’re one of them, just remember that these ‘sex gods’, these icons of ‘true’ beauty, it’s all fake. The images of the models are photoshopped so much that you wouldn’t know the before and after pictures were the same person. And Barbie, her real life proportions are not only unrealistic, but they show the true image of,not beauty, but an eating disorder.