With her dazzling blonde hair, blue eyes, and long legs, she instantly became the role model for little girls all around the world. However, the unrealistic body image that Barbie possesses has a negative affect on self-esteem and the way young girls view themselves.
When Barbie was created in 1959, her look consisted of a twirling ponytail and a black and white swimsuit, which was her trademark (Riddick, "Inventing" para 2). Barbie has changed over the years as fashion and teenage trends have shifted. She went from a classy look in the 1960s with a twisting waist, long hair, and bendable legs to being athletic in the 1970s with bendable wrists, elbows, and ankles (Riddick, "Barbie" para 4). In the 1980s, they altered Barbie and gave her an open-mouth smile and brighter eyes (Riddick, "Eighties" para 3). The creators of Barbie decided to modify her clothing in the 1990s, and she began to wear Lee Jeans (Riddick, "Nineties" para 12). .
This doll has left psychologists and parents questioning if she is at fault for many female body image problems due to the image her body portrays. According to the University of Alberta Health Center, a woman who is 5"6"" in height and weighs less than one hundred and twenty-five pounds is considered underweight (para 10). "But, if Barbie was human sized, she would stand 5 foot 6 inches tall, weigh 110 pounds, and have a 39 inch bust, 18 inch waist and 33 inch hips. These measurements are physically improbable; no woman could have that body shape" ("Barbie", para 2). .
Many young girls look up to Barbie and think they need to look just like her. "It is now believed that a person's basic body image is determined by age six" (Griffin, para 2). Psychologists have surveyed and found that young girls notice the body shapes of the doll and translate them into what a female should physically look like, creating problems down the road such as low self-esteem or an eating disorder.