Barbie without make up – a nice healthy image, for a change

My frenemie Barbie! I’ve written about her negative influence on children in my MA dissertation and ever since then I enjoy seeing artists who take a different look at this fake monster.

Here is a Mexican graphic designer called   who has created a mock up of a makeup-less Barbie to prove “nobody is perfect.”

Eddi Aguirre, a designer from Mexico created a sketch of what Barbie would look like without makeup to illustrate a makeup feature for a magazine.In the sketch, Aguirre depicted a Barbie with freckles, bags over and under her eyes, frizzy hair, shiny skin and braces.

The designer uploaded the project to his online portfolio with the following description:

“An image used in a special makeup feature for the new magazine shows Barbie before and after makeup (nobody is perfect).”

Over the past couple of years there has been a growing initiative to showcase natural beauty. In 2010 Marie Claire magazine had a spread with a makeup-less Jessica Simpson and last week, Mariah Carey joined the many celebrities who tweet makeup-free photos of themselves.

The image of Barbie’s au naturel look has been dubbed refreshing as it reminds people the doll is an unrealistic role model for young girls. (From World Observer On-line)

Eddie also made a model of a Barbie doll which was created using a real person. Although many know this image already, I believe there are not enough of them. They are important reminders that simply say: “Hey, Barbie is fake. Noone looks like this. It’s a farce. Please remember that aspiring to her looks is just utter nonsense!”


And here are some more fab images of barbie who just got out of bed:





If you want to know more about the negative psychological effects of Barbie and the physical ailments she can bring upon women, have a look at this excerpt of an article by Stephanie Hoskins:

“A psychology experiment was done in the U.K. in 2006 by psychology professors Helga Dittmar from the University of Sussex, Suzanne Ive from the University of Sussex, and Emma Halliwell of the University of the West of England. Their findings from their experiment have been published in Developmental Psychology in 2006. Their study is also a part of the American Psychological Association her in the U.S. Their experiment is called “Does Barbie Make Girls Want to Be Thin? The Effect of Experimental Exposure to Images of Dolls on the Body Image of 5- to 8-Year-Old Girls.”


In their experiment “a total of 162 girls, from ages 5 to age 8, were exposed to images of either Barbie Dolls, Emme dolls (U.S. size 16), or no dolls (baseline control) and then completed assessments of body image.” The professors discovered that those exposed to Barbie doll images produced “lower self-esteem and a greater desire for a thinner body shape than in the other exposed conditions.” Although, the oldest girls did not have an immediate negative impact from the Barbie doll images. The study concluded that “these findings imply that, even if dolls cease to function as aspirational role models for older girls, early exposure to dolls epitomizing an unrealistically thin body ideal may damage girls’ body image, which would contribute to an increased risk of disordered eating and weight cycling.”


Barbie is to blame for women developing body dysmorphic disorder. Psychologists say it’s possible that exposure to Barbies at a young age can trigger this disease later in life. Body dysmorphic disorder is a disease which causes the person to obsess over something they don’t like about their body—which may be extremely minor or unnoticeable to others. This is the disease that physiologist Debbie believe drove Heidi Montag to go under the knife to get her Barbie body. More and more women are mutilating their bodies with surgery at a younger age like Montag to get the “ideal Barbie-Doll body”. Journalist Rachel Rettner added that in 2008 “an estimated 750,000 cosmetic procedures, 271,000 of which were surgical, were performed in people aged 20 to 29, according to the ASPS. And 81,900 surgical procedures were performed on children and young adults aged 13 to 19.” These statistics are truly shocking that young women feel the need to change their body to meet unrealistic expectations of our Barbie culture.


As a child most girls played with Barbie dolls and if they had not, their views of what is considered beautiful and acceptable for women would be different, as well as how they felt about body image. Most girls don’t understand the doll’s influence on the way they view women until they are much older. Some have even taken extreme measures and mutilated their body to mimic the doll. In 2010, reality T.V. Star Heidi Montag underwent 10 plastic surgeries all at one time when she was only 23-years-old. Rettner interviewed Montag in her article, “Heidi Montag’s plastic Surgery: Obsession or Addiction?” to find out what motivated the already naturally stunning Heidi to go under the knife.


Rettner stated that “as for what’s driving her and others, some researchers say the media is part of the problem, bombarding us with images of this ideal Barbie-Doll person that’s unattainable without nips and tucks and more.” Montag stated that “she is not addicted to plastic surgery.” Psychologist Debbie would disagree. “I think fundamentally, when someone goes on for many, many, many, procedures at a young age they’re trying to change something about themselves, they want to become a new person.”


Montag has stated on many occasions that she just wanted to “look like Barbie.” After her surgeries Montag struggled with her body image more than ever before her surgery. On her reality show viewers watched as many of her friends and family said she was beautiful post-surgery and that it was unnecessary—making Montag regret her surgeries. Barbie has set the standard for the media to show Barbie-like models that make women feel self-conscious of their bodies. Would the media show more realistically proportioned women if Barbie had never been around? It would change how the media began to market women and models.


These psychologists have proven the negative effects Barbie can have on young girls and how it can affect them later in life like Montag. The whole section of the Developmental Psychology book is packed with different psychologists and their findings of the impact Barbie has on young girls. My initial statement that Barbie had an influence on what girls considered beautiful and acceptable later in life was stated in the book. “For young children, fantasy and play are vital parts of socialization in which they internalize ideals and values, and dolls provide a tangible image of the body that can be internalized as part of the child’s developing self-concept and body image.”


It is a parent’s job to censor the toys they allow their young children to play with in order to protect them from psychological and physically damaging Barbie dolls and other toys similar. Because, as stated in the book Developmental Psycology, “If Barbie were flesh-and-blood woman, her waist would be 39% smaller than that of anorexic patients, and her body weight would be so low that she would not be able to menstruate.”

Here is the full article:



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