Barbie dolls are probably the most popular dolls on the planet. Everyone recognizes them: blonde hair, blue eyes, long and thin legs and, in general, an enviable silhouette.
On the surface, nothing seems misplaced, but there are many question marks regarding the psychological effect these dolls have on children, specifically girls.
The general message that Barbie dolls convey is: "Be like me!" Barbie dolls have beautiful clothes, shoes, bags, furniture, cars, house in Malibu, horses and swimming pools. They don't age and they always have a smile on their lips.
The values that Barbie dolls promote are sometimes unrealistic and always superficial. Conformism is always preferred to individualism. From a simple Barbie doll, girls of young age have acquired the syndrome of idolizing a certain stereotype. Barbie doll creates many complexes among girls, which can have long-term consequences.
The obsession for Barbie also gained a name: "Barbie syndrome". It seems that the little girls who play with such dolls actually project their own image in Barbie and end up having a self-distorted image.
The same girls, who have become women, continue to want to have the unrealistic proportions of Barbie doll. Pre-teens dream of an ideal beauty, which I think is a Barbie doll.
Several researchers in the UK have conducted a study to see if the Barbie doll could be the reason why young girls feel dissatisfied with their body. 162 girls, between the ages of 5 and 8, participated in the test, being exposed to different types of dolls.
The little girls who received the Barbie dolls subsequently reported a lower degree of self-respect and a greater desire to have a thinner figure. In the long term, these girls may develop problems associated with eating and fluctuating weight.
A good advice for parents would be to think twice before buying a Barbie doll. If, however, the child insists, the parents can have a discussion with the girl very quickly, to explain how things are with the ideals of beauty and the boundary between real and unreal.