West Virginia Delegate Jeff Eldridge is trying to pass The Barbie Ban Bill. He wants to ban selling the Barbie doll from the state of West Virginia. Eldridge claims that Barbie, who turns 50 years old on March 9th, portrays unhealthy, unrealistic stereotypes for young girls and women. Eldridge stated, “I just hate the image that we give to our kids that if you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, and you don’t have to be smart.”
So, let me get this straight. Barbie…a doll…sets unrealistic and unhealthy body images. Sports Illustrated, Teen Vogue, The Pussy Cat Dolls, and MTV-- they don’t do anything unrealistic do they? Their shows and campaigning have females that are all average sizes, right? This guy is a few cards short of a full deck. Has he even given a thought to plain old PARENTING?
If children are raised in an environment where they feel they have their parents approval they will grow up to have a positive self-image and healthy self-esteem. Parents need to be available, understanding, patient, loving, constructive, and firm. Parents need to teach by their actions, not just their words. Parents also need to be very wary of what words they use. Words are very powerful and they can help a child to flourish or they can damage a child for years or a lifetime. Believe me, I know first hand. I grew up with a bio-mother that destroyed my self-image.
I also grew up with Barbie. I had 50 Barbie dolls. Actually, I had Barbie everything. The Barbie jet, the van, the penthouse, the townhouse, the pool…you name it, I had it. I LOVED Barbie. Barbie was my salvation. If it hadn’t been for Barbie I wouldn’t have survived my tumultuous childhood.
When I needed to get away from the horrors of my life I could get my Barbie and enter fantasy land. I was a pilot and I flew to Egypt. While there I was an Anthropologist that dug for mysterious treasures. Or I got into my van, with my husband and kids, and drove to another state and had the fun family vacation I wished I were having rather than listening to my bio-mother fighting with her alcoholic 2nd husband. Barbie was my idol, not because she was a 36-18-33; but because she gave me hope that I COULD grow up and be a strong woman that COULD be a Veterinarian. Or a CEO that COULD marry a strong, loving man and have a stable family life.
Yes, Barbie is beautiful and her body measurements are unrealistic. However, Barbie can swim, scuba dive, sing, dance and act. Heck, she was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Lucy in I Love Lucy and Jeannie in I Dream of Jeannie. She is an Astronaut, a CEO, a NASCAR Driver, a Hairdresser, a Doctor and even the President of the United States. She owns and flies her own jet. She owns a corvette, a jeep, a van, a townhouse, a penthouse, a pool, and a spa. She’s kind to animals and has horses, dogs, cats, a panda and a lion. She’s been with the same man, Ken, for 48 years and has tons of friends- Midge, P.J., Stacey, Teresa, Nikki, Kayla and Devon, to name a few. She’s traveled the world. She’s been to Africa, India, Finland, heck, even the Moon! What young girl wouldn’t want to aspire to be someone like Barbie! She can accomplish ANYTHING! What mother wouldn’t want to teach her daughter THAT lesson?
Barbie isn’t someone that a mother wants her daughter to aspire to LOOK like; but someone to aspire to BE. A woman that is independent, successful, loving, loyal, intelligent but most of all, SECURE WITH HERSELF.