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MSNBC : Life-size Barbie gets real women talking


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Looks like, good-bye inflatable love dolls :paranoid:


By Lisa Marsh

TODAY.com contributor

updated 4/14/2011 5:24:50 PM ET


Barbie’s not just a doll.

In Galia Slayen’s hands, the iconic blond plaything has morphed into a life-size representation of what an eating disorder looks like.

Four years ago, Slayen, then a student at Lincoln High School in Portland, Ore., built what she believed to be a life-size version of the doll she played with as a child as part of the first National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

“I was at a friend’s house and her mom’s an artist so there were all these art supplies around,” Slayen told TODAY.com. “She helped with the actual proportions.”

Slayen brought the life-sized doll to the Today studios Monday to show off her handiwork. The Barbie stands about 6 feet tall with a 39" bust, 18" waist and 33" hips. She is made of wood, chicken wire and papier mache, and is dressed in a size 00 skirt that was a remnant from Slayen’s one-year bout with anorexia.

“I’m not blaming Barbie [for my illness] — she’s one small factor, an environmental factor,” Slayen said. “I’m blond and blue-eyed and I figured that was what I was supposed to look like. She was my idol. It impacted the way I looked at myself.”

The goal in creating Barbie’s likeness was to start conversation. “Talking about eating disorders is taboo to many people, and this made people talk about it,” Slayen said. “It’s a shocking image. A lot of people have seen it, and it’s started debates,” she said, particularly after she wrote about it for the Huffington Post. “Her proportions are not 100 percent correct, but her look is not invalid.”

“As a pop-cultural icon, Barbie is often used as art to express one’s own personal opinions and views,” a Mattel spokesperson said in an email. “Girls see female body images everywhere today and it’s critical that parents and caregivers provide perspective on what they are seeing. It’s important to remember that Barbie is a doll who stands 11.5 inches tall and weighs 7.25 ounces — she was never modeled on the proportions of a real person.”

Slayen introduced her Barbie to her college, Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., at its first National Eating Disorders Awareness Week this year.

At the school, there were different activities for each day of the week, including covering mirrors with pictures, facts and information on eating disorders, something Slayen had done at her high school. However, “there were just eight mirrors in my high school. There were over 300 in my college,” she said with a sigh

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It would be more impactful if she got the proportions right relative to the doll. Exaggerating the already exaggerated proportions just doesn't have the same effect.

You do realize, that the purpose of the project is to spread awareness for eating disorders, right ?

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It would be more impactful if she got the proportions right relative to the doll. Exaggerating the already exaggerated proportions just doesn't have the same effect.

No, I'm pretty sure that when you supersize the small doll, those are the actual proportions. I always read that they were ridiculous, which is what made the doll so unrealistic.

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Lemme take back my [/thread] for a minute. One of my favorite toys as a kid was the WWF ring and wrestlers. (I still have them in a box somewhere, complete with red water-color marker on their faces, from some of the more "brutal" matches they were involved in.) :ols:

Many of them (save for Hillbilly Jim, Andre the Giant and a few others) depict men with rippling muscles, and cartoonishly-shredded washboard abs. Not once, not even ONCE, did I consider for a second that I should fill myself with roids because that was how I was "supposed" to look. And spare me the "ohhhh....but women are expected to live up to a different standard." Really? Maybe I missed my last copy of Beer Belly Illustrated, but the guys I see on magazine covers are just as impossible for us to become as any girls on the cover of SI.

I think there's a different fundamental reason that some women feel the need to achieve the kind of appearance they see on magazines and on TV, while men don't feel as intense a need to reach that "perfect" physical state of being. In an anorexic's case, it's different. That's an actual disease that causes one to see a different body image than is reflected in the mirror. (Nearly lost a close friend and next-door-neighbor to it too, when I was a kid.) But frankly, I think the general idea that "women are expected to meet a different standard than men because of what we see in the media" is a steaming load of hot garbage.

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Maybe Mattell should market a toy that more adequately reflects American women of all shapes and sizes.

They can have the carpenters dream Barbie.

They can be have buffalo in a motorized wheelchair at Wal-Mart Barbie.

Also, I blame Cobra Commander for my eating disorder and desire to wear a hood everywhere I go.

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Kosher Ham beat me to it, but my first thought was the chick on the right is kind of cute, but if she was trying to attain the doll look, she needed to worry less about her waist and more about expanding the tits :ols:

And HH...that is brilliant. We must start Beer Belly Illustrated magazine immediately. Our first cover model should be Ralph, the farmer from rural southwest Virginia who is currently on Survivor.


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If scaled into real life proportions, she would be 5 feet, 9 inches, (1.75 m) measuring 36-18-33. According to research by the University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, she would lack the requisite 17 to 22 percent of body fat required to menstruate.


Lord, M.G. Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll. New York: William Morrow and Company,

Inc., 1994

---------- Post added April-27th-2011 at 08:51 AM ----------

There was a babe back in the 90's that you could call a life sized barbie by the name of Pamela Anderson.

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