Articles on Barbie

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Barbies now come in all shapes, sizes and colours – but the history of the doll shows it’s business as usual for Mattel. Mattel

Drastic plastic: a look at Barbie’s new bodies

Barbie has a forgotten history of changing in response to market pressures. Are her multiple new bodies ushering in an era of ethical body inclusiveness, or is Mattel just shifting deckchairs on the Titanic?
Just because Barbie has impossible proportions, does that mean playing with her will distort young girls’ body image? Flickr/Freddycat1

Is Barbie bad for body image?

Launched in 1959, named after the inventor’s daughter Barbara, and owned by 99% of 3-10 year old girls in the USA, Barbie has been a popular request on young girls’ Christmas wish lists for 55 years. So…
Where toys promote aggressiveness in boys and submissiveness in girls, they are definitely part of the problem. EPA/Jason Szenes

‘Toy war’ debates misunderstand the causes of domestic violence

Australia suffers “endemic” levels of men’s violence against women, so if the child is the father of the man, then it’s time we talked about boys’ toys. And what better time to start the conversation than…
Kids don’t always play with toys according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Charles Roark/Flick

Leave Barbie alone – so we can talk about how kids actually play

On Tuesday Greens Spokesperson for women, Larissa Waters, lent her support to No Gender December – a campaign spearheaded by the group Play Unlimited that aims to highlight the gendered marketing of toys…
The No Gender December campaign suggests that the gender stereotyping of toys restricts children’s creativity and development. Tracheotomy Bob

Barbie for boys? The gendered tyranny of the toy store

“I didn’t encourage my daughter to play with Barbie dolls and dress up in flouncy fairy costumes, but she just gravitated toward them.” When confronted with the idea that gendered marketing and stereotypes…
The virtual bodies around us are so unrealistic that it’s not unusual for people to question whether they’re normal. Emergency Brake/Flickr

You’re not Barbie and I’m not GI Joe, so what is a normal body?

We live in a world of improbable bodies; they populate our television screens, magazines and billboards. If you’re like most Australians, you might sometimes get the feeling your body isn’t normal. But…

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