Plus-size Barbie image sparks Facebook debate

Shereen Dindar
Contributing Writer
Shine On
(Image via Plus Size Modeling Facebook page)

With all the attempts to make Barbie politically correct over the last few years -- including the introduction of ethnically diverse dolls such as Brazilian Barbie and Indian Barbie -- she's still only ever been rail thin.

But now a Facebook group is challenging the status quo by posting an illustration of what a plus-size Barbie could look like. The image is accompanied by the question: "Should toy companies start making plus sized Barbie dolls?"

The illustration, posted last week by Plus Size Modeling, originally surfaced in 2011 when it won top prize at an artist competition.

It has currently sparked a lively debate on Facebook, garnering over 4,7000 comments and close to 40,000 likes.

"Wish there was an 'average' Barbie. Not skinny, not obese. Normal proportions," writes one commentator.

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"Average size these days is 14-16. A doll that shows real life perspective, rather than the ideal unhealthy weight like 0 or unhealthy negative display of obese [sic] is a better more healthy approach," says another.

"No one is naturally fat for gods sake, that's sending the message to girls that it's ok to look like this and be unhealthy..." quips another.

It's the kind of debate that gets carried out every time images of plus-size women surface in the media. Many members of the public are outraged that overweight women are promoted as beautiful.

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Yet interestingly enough, one particular artist has created a version of what Barbie would look like if she had average proportions. Sadly, no company has built the design yet.

Artist Nickolay Lamm made waves earlier this year when he released a series of images showing a digitally-altered Barbie based on the average measurements of a 19-year-old American woman.

What are your thoughts on this debate? Should doll companies promote plus-sized girls and women or is that sending an unhealthy message? Tell us in the comments below.