Have you ever thought about how the toys we were given as children may have influenced how we see ourselves now? Think of how the Barbie Doll influenced generations. My first thought is how a doll may have created a lasting image on an impressionable little girl as to what a beautiful woman looked like, even when her own mother may not have looked that way. My next thought was about the brothers who were exposed to this same image. I wonder now, realizing that I had not played with Barbies, if my childhood image of ‘beauty’ that carried forward in life was influenced instead by my doll Rosie.
Let me share that I am not an insecure person who puts much thought into how others look at me, nor do I think that I am unattractive, because I see beauty in everybody. This might be because as I child the doll that I had played with, and loved the most, was my Rosie, and she looked nothing like a Barbie Doll. Others considered Rosie ugly. My family was amused to see how a little girl, who had other dolls which were considered much nicer looking than Rosie, clung so tightly to this ugly doll. I know that I never saw her as ugly, she was my baby and my best friend. It did not matter that her hair was missing in places and that her face was stained, she was perfect in my eyes.
Seeing how Barbie has been sold all over the world and never ever seeing advertisements for a doll looking like Rosie, it is obvious that Barbie was what the world wanted. Imagine how happy I was when I recently discovered that Barbie has a new look. Barbie has had some work done and can now be loved by children regardless if she is short, tall, curvy, lean, different skin tones, with dark hair, or even with short hair. Little girls can now stop comparing themselves to her former image as Barbie is now created in our images. To me, that makes Barbie more beautiful than ever.
When I shared my discovery of Barbie’s new-and-improved looks with a friend, I had told her that I wanted to get the Barbie that looked more like me. This one was shorter and a bit – ahem – juicier. Imagine how happy I was when a few days later, my friend had sent me a Curvy Barbie to play with.
My excitement and reason for sharing this story is because after all these years, times are changing. The Barbie Corporation has given a gift to the world by recognizing publicly that beauty can exist in so many different shapes and sizes. I cannot wait to see Ken with less hair, glasses, and without a six pack. My joy comes from the fact that others can now accept and influence future generations by introducing different body types and shapes all defined as beautiful.
By allowing our own images to be less perfect, as defined by others, we can continue to be the person that we always wanted to be. The difference now is that instead of chasing a childhood image, we can now choose to be happier as we are today and with a healthier image of who we are and who we were meant to be. This is not a Barbie doll world, it is your world…and it is beautiful!