Why Is Barbie A Bad Influence?

A bit of background for this article: A while back (August 24, 2015 to be more precise), I wrote this article and intended it to be one of the first articles I would publish on this site, before doing some research and seeing that Blair Naso (formerly of Return of Kings) had written an article on this very same subject in February of that year. Due to the similarity of these two articles, I kept this on the backburner with the vague idea of “revamping” it sometime in the future.

Fast forward to June 2016, where my patron Roosh V is currently publishing a new book, and I have been tasked with doing an article on the subject for the website, in addition to my usual fitness and nutrition related posts. And so, like any good writer, when faced with doing more work than usual, I cheat by taking something I’ve already created, and slightly changing it so that it appears new. Enjoy!

Pretty much for as long as she has existed, and well into the present day, Mattel’s Barbie has been criticized by feminists and their enablers, typically for presenting “unrealistic beauty standards” and (to a much lesser extent) for allegedly promoting a submissive, patriarchal view of womanhood. My response to this is the title of this article:

Why exactly are Barbie dolls supposed to be some terrible influence upon little girls that will cause them to become wrist-slicing, anorexic emotional trainwrecks (obviously, with a need for a bunch of finger-wagging, moralistic, progressive church ladies to waddle and clomp to their aid)?

Sure, Barbie’s proportions aren’t realistic-they’re not meant to be. She is an ideal of what a graceful and beautiful lady SHOULD be: in addition to her beauty and figure, she has more careers than I can think of, and I can’t be bothered to actually look up. It’s almost as if the Paladins of the Church of Secular Humanism are saying little girls SHOULDN’T aspire to being beautiful, feminine women with high-power, high-paying careers.

Much like Mr. Naso’s article states, the claim has always been that Barbie essentially “shames” little girls into feeling bad about themselves for not looking as good as she does. As somebody who spent his entire childhood watching kung fu and shoot-em-up movies, both of which which led to me becoming inspired to, in my adulthood, lift weights and learn martial arts, I find this somewhat dubious, for the simple fact that looking at the celluloid ubermenschen on the big and small screen served as inspirations to me, rather than humiliations. Either these “body shaming” claims are a load of crap…or women react to external stimuli (namely, seeing somebody who is better than them) differently than men do. Either answer would trigger the usual suspects.

So I challenge anybody reading: tell me why Barbie is such a bad influence, and what would be a more suitable role model for a little girl to aspire to? Perhaps the Lammily doll, which is designed specifically to be dumpy and with optional blemishes and pockmarks.

But ultimately, if there is any one argument that can be used to debunk the whole anti-Barbie fatwa, it’s this: The hyper-exaggerated hourglass figure of Barbie is supposed to act as a “fat-shaming” device, prompting girls to become anorexics…but considering that the average American woman today weighs more than the average American man of the 1960s (and 40 pounds more than the average American woman of the 1960s), if Barbie is supposed to inspire girls to be anorexic, it clearly ain’t working.

  • Well played. I agree with your points, but since you challenged your readers to give a valid reason as to why Barbie is a poor role model, I shall give it the old college try:

    Barbie is a poor role model for women because it encourages little girls to believe that they can indeed have everything without sacrificing one part of their life. Barbie is thin, attractive, successful, has the “perfect” significant other (unless things have changed), and has various pets, nieces, hobbies, and other people/things to do in her spare time. Hell, I don’t do half the things Barbie does and my schedule is packed from sun-up to sun-down. The example set by Barbie is unrealistic and will teach little girls to expect to be capable of having a full-time job and a full-time mother, while staying slim & attractive and enjoying luxurious hobbies.

    • I don’t deny it’s unrealistic, but again, it’s supposed to be an ideal. I guess what you’d need to do is convey to girls that it’s not realistic and not encourage them to chase after all of them and thus achieve none of them.