Though Barbie’s fan club exceeds 600,000, there are those with bitter sentiments towards her. It seems to me that women in the +PLUS+size+ department have a hard time doing something about their physical condition that they have to resort to a plastic doll to alleviate their anger. In my search, I encountered sites for heavy women that referred to the doll and even made fun of her for having an unhealthy body. Many critics argue that Barbie doesn’t have the “perfect” shape, to them she looks like a drag queen. Barbie did undergo surgery in 1998 to make her hips smaller so that she may fit better into teenage clothe.
While there are those that envy her curves and tiny feet, there are others who deem her as the key to happiness. One women put herself through 20 surgeries in hopes of gaining as much success as Barbie. Beauty was everything to Cindy Jackson of Ohio. Cindy admits that her Barbie’s imaginary lie had an impact on her life. She grew up her whole life unhappy with her physical appearance, and the in 1988 she began her reconstruction.
What did the new Cindy have that the old one didn’t? New hair after having a hair transplant, upper and lower eye lift, thicker lips, new teeth, reduced chin, semi-permanent makeup, breast implants, inner and outer thigh liposuction.
Who would’ve thought someone would take this doll to such an extreme? “Multiple feminists and anti-Barbie activists blame Barbie for the high rate of teenage eating disorders.”
In my quest for infromation I found an interesting quote from one of Barbie's REAL life relatives. Stacey Handler, the grandaughter of Ruth and author of The Body Burden: Living in the Shadow of Barbie, said, "Barbie has always been like a flawless sister to me. Between us there has been a rivalry, silent and eterna. It was a rivalry I could not confront because she is made of plastic."
Barbie is considered an American icon, yet there is much argument on the diversity the doll represents. The first black doll of this kind was Francie in 1967, until the arrival of the more recognized Black Barbie in 1980. That same year, the Latina version of Barbie entered the market. Yet, “Critics have called some of the Barbies of color too Anglo, not quite as ethnic as they purport to be.” (A Doll for All ) According to Ophira Edut’s article “Asian American Barbie is No-Show” African Americans have complained that their version of Barbie is much like Barbie dipped in brown paint. To further the argument of Barbie’s whiteness, Barbie for President 2000, featured Anglo, Latina, and Black Barbie, but not the Asian version.
How might non-Anglo children feel about playing with a doll that looks nothing like their ethnic group? According to a PBS article, studies have found that black children often prefer white dolls, yet white childeren prefer black dolls of they are portrayed as the hero. Color is not an issue children think about.