Why it’s time dolls got real and how you can help
I have a distinct memory of playing with Barbie’s, and it is probably not shockingly dissimilar to other people’s memories. My friend and I where only 11 years old, and as we dressed up our Barbie’s we discussed to great lengths how we wished that we could create a machine that would magically take away all of our fat and make us look as gorgeous as Barbie did.
AND THE CHILD SAID
“Every single doll was white- very generic the same like white, blonde hair, tiny, skinny- the ideal,” said Sharni Briner
Most of the popular dolls that are marketed to children have unnatural, adult bodies; they are marketed to prepubescent children who are still developing their sense of self and are vulnerable to the body ideals and pressure.
Unfortunately children often don’t know that many fashion dolls bodies are physically impossible to obtain and certainly are not the average. Many fashion dolls do not represent any girl (their target market) or even most women. Children trying to reach these representations of the norm are at a very early age set up for a losing battle.
AND THE CHILD THOUGHT
“I couldn’t find any dolls that were like me,” said Lucinda Knox
During childhood we develop our sense of self-esteem and self-worth, we form ideas about ourselves, others and society. If we give children these one size fits all dolls, which not only give children unrealistic body expectations but also represent only a fraction of the ethnic groups in most countries, what are we saying to our children? That this doll represents what you should be and you’re never going to be it?
We were only 11 years old when we thought we were too fat, and if there was ever any chance we could ever look like Barbie we weren’t going to look like it at that age. Yet these were the dolls we were given to play with, and at a young age you cannot help but think this is the image you’re meant to achieve.
We have a growing number of children and young adults suffering from body image problems and low self-esteem. Young girls who think that they are not pretty enough because they have been inadvertently educated to think these unnatural body types are the ideal.
It is vital that children have strong role models and dolls that represent them. Dolls that encourage them to be children, that let them know them that it is beautiful to look natural and to look like a child. It is time for dolls to get real; we need dolls that show healthy, robust kids bodies and not adult body shapes.
Creating real dolls for real children
As a little girl I sat with my friend, giggling about a magical machine that would help us obtain this seriously skewed body image, as if it was normal. If our children believe that these warped figures are accurate they are going to see themselves though a warped perspective. This is why we have created our Beetle Bottoms dolls, which follow on from the success of our Beetle Bottoms children’s books, to communicate a healthier body image to children.
How can you help?
Our dolls represent real, healthy children and all children. But we need your help with the manufacturing and distributing of the dolls. You can help by contributing to our IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign, backers can choose from a variety of exciting rewards such as the Beetle Bottoms dolls, books, games and original artworks. If you aren’t in a position to give then please share this plea on your social media walls.
Together we can change the expectations of how everyone should look and install a passion for life in children, by showing them it is fantastic to be exactly who they are.