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Barbie, the toy fashion doll, has been subjected to extensive speculation but little empirical investigation as to whether her thin persona exerts a negative influence on the self-image of young girls. The present study was conducted to examine the impact of childhood Barbie play versus other factors on self-image and dieting behaviors of young women. A survey was completed by 254 undergraduate women that included questions about childhood Barbie play, family characteristics, satisfaction with their own appearance, and eating behaviors. Neither age of acquisition or number of Barbies owned had a significant impact on self-evaluations of appearance or on dieting behavior. The strongest predictor of dieting behavior was the women's recollection of how much physical appearance was valued by her family of origin members.
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... Other variables may be more salient in a girl's life, especially the parent-child relationship and friendships. For example, in his work, Worobey (2009) noted that family characteristics were more influential than Barbies in predicting women's dieting. Girls are likely to adopt the attitudes and model behaviors from others close to them, especially when it comes to body image and eating (Paxton et al., 1999;Rodgers & Chabrol, 2009). ...
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Introduction: Although Barbies are heavily criticized for their unattainable bodies, research has not thoroughly examined the long-lasting effects of playing with Barbies in childhood on women’s later body image. In the present study, we examined whether the frequency of play with Barbies, number of Barbies owned, enjoyment when playing with Barbies, and age at first play with Barbies were associated with women’s body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, and dieting behaviors. Methods: Female young adults (n=68) who had played with Barbies as children responded to surveys. Results: We found that only age at first play with Barbies in childhood was associated with greater drive for thinness in adulthood; no other Barbie variable was associated with body image. Conclusions: These findings suggest that girls who begin playing with Barbies at a young age may be susceptible to developing a greater internalization of the thin ideal. It is important that girls and parents be aware that Barbies do not represent an ideal body to match. Keywords: Barbie; dolls; disordered eating; drive for thinness
... That is, Barbie is thought to represent the longstanding idealized female figure of beauty, and her body proportions have been identified as both unrealistic and unhealthy in the popular press and empirical papers [5,6]. Though not all authors agree on Barbie's negative impact [7,8], Barbie dolls have been criticized for providing young girls with a tangible physique-salient representation of unrealistic female body shapes. In fact, there are well-documented negative body image effects related to exposure to Barbie, including reduced body esteem and body satisfaction, higher body size discrepancy, thin-ideal internalization PLOS krakus@utoronto.ca) ...
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The prevalence of breast augmentation and breast lift surgery suggests that many women are dissatisfied with their breasts. This study analyzed women's and men's views about breast size and shape among 52,227 heterosexual adults, ages 18–65, who responded to an online survey. Although most women (70%) were dissatisfied with the size or shape of their breasts, most men (56%) were satisfied with their partner's breasts. Younger and thinner women worried that their breasts were too small; older and heavier women were more concerned with breast droopiness. Women who were dissatisfied with their breasts were more likely to report lower body satisfaction and to express concern about wearing a bathing suit in public. Further, dissatisfied women were also less willing to undress in front of their partner and were more likely to conceal their breasts from their partner during sex. These findings suggest that dissatisfaction with breasts is widespread among adult women.
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