Picture the years between 1982-1992, a little blonde hair, shy chubby girl. This little girl was lonely. Her life was very sheltered and cut-off from the rest of the world. She didn’t have friends that were close enough to play with, and this was way before ‘play dates’ were a thing. She grew up around old people, animals, books and her Barbies.
If you ask, I’ll turn 50 shades of red and admit that I played with Barbies until I was about 15. Most of my friends were learning to drive, thinking about dating. I was home taking care of my nana and every free moment escaping into a magical world where I created story after story. I was the creator and director of the lives of these Barbies. I would get the nice collectable Barbies for Christmas and every year I would say this is the year I’ll keep them in the boxes and just look at them, but before the day was up, they would come out of the package, my fingers would touch every part of the beautiful dresses, over the perfect hair and those tiny shoes. I had clothes, shoes, homemade clothes, furniture, babies, pets and of course, just the regular Barbies. At one point I had over 30 Barbies. We didn’t have a lot of money so I didn’t have a lot of the ‘big ticket’ items, but Barbies I had.
I spent hours in our walk-in closet playing trying to stay out of my mom’s path, or when I was sentenced to fresh air, I’d play outside under a shade tree in our back yard. Back in these days, Barbies would go on adventures; they would climb trees, dig holes to find treasure, and let’s not forget, be saved from any number of disasters by the hero (better known as Ken).
The only sad part of Barbies was the fact they never looked like me. Even the short skipper had perky breasts and tanned skin. Looking in the mirror as a child I can remember wishing so badly that I looked like Barbie. I mean, isn’t Barbie the very idea of beauty and success? If you ask any female around my age what her idea of beauty was stemmed from when they were younger, there is a pretty big percentage that will reply ‘Barbie’. No wonder we are a generation of women just now finding ourselves and accepting the fact our bodies are good bodies. Now imagine what it would have been like to see a Barbie that looked like we did. How would that would have positively affected your self-image.
I never knew plus size could be anything but negative until I was in my mid 20s. Today we are miles and miles ahead of where we were back then. With women like Tess Holiday making it known that big can be beautiful. The Internet, despite all of it’s bad qualities, we have this huge body positive movement that allows kids to hear stories just like theirs, and see bodies that they can see in the mirror. Yet still, when a child goes to pick out their Barbies, they can find dolls of any skin color, hair color, eye color, short or tall, with any range of ‘career’ or clothing options. You can find zombie dolls, big-headed dolls, wheelchair dolls, but where are the bodies of size? Where can a plus size child find a Barbie or a doll that looks like them.
There are two ladies (Bridget & Joleen) trying to make a movement. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to launch their own ‘Fat Doll’ They have four dolls of size (size 18) that are from four different ethnicities, hobbies, jobs, education levels. Taken from their press release, 57% of adolescent girls engage with unhealthy ways of loosing weight. Imagine if we could change these statistics. If by a simple movement of having these bodies of size out there for mothers to buy their children.
I am going to include how you can learn more about this movement and help gets these dolls in stores. Let’s support those that are trying to make a change. Trying to create a world where it doesn’t take you being 30 or 40 to accept, love your body and yourself.
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