Acromegaly Barbie


Ever wonder how big Barbie would be in real life if you scaled her up from her ne plus ultra petite package? (C'mon, admit it.) Amble over to Rutgers University's Douglass College Center and check out a colossal version of everybody's favorite doll.

She's an educational tool constructed by a group called Challenging Unrealistic Views on Eating and Size (CURVES). In yet another effort to persuade the last five or six unconvinced Americans that Barbie's hourglass figure is an unreachable and destructive ideal of female beauty, CURVES assembled a behemoth babe out of tape, panty hose, styrofoam, and cotton. The final dimensions based on the doll's actual hip-to-waist ratio? Barbie is seven feet tall while weighing 110 lbs.

"Men and women are both faced with issues in society that affect their bodies and how they take care of themselves and see themselves," said Douglass College senior Davida Eisenberg, CURVES president.

The "beautiful" men and women to whom children look up are not always the role models they should have, she said. "Being thin [isn't] necessarily … positive," Eisenberg said.

Those are fine sentiments, if a bit late in the fashion show. While Barbie still sells exceptionally well for toymaker Mattel, it's also true that models of beauty–for both women and men–have proliferated wildly over the past several decades. Indeed, whatever punch the original feminist critique of Barbie packed now has about as much appeal to anyone as a "mod hair Ken" (scroll down, though be warned that this link may induce nightmares).

NEXT: Long Arm of the RIAA

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  1. Barbie isn’t real. This is fact. Are they really suggesting that little girls are calculating Barbie’s hip-to-waist ratio and then spending the rest of their lives commiting emotional flagellation based on the mathematical results? What if the toy represented the precise proportions of the average woman, wouldn’t there still be a whole lot of people out there who could potentially be offended? It’s a damn toy for chrissakes. If someone made a fat doll, it would still be decried as insulting to the overweight, and as presenting an unhealthy roll model.

    The feminists seem to be reacting more to the popularity of the doll than anything else, though. It’s not that Barbie hurts the kids that play with it that bothers them, but the fact that it doesn’t. Still, I have a hard time taking this hoary claptrap seriously enough to comment on it, especially since these kids are just a bunch of college students, regurgitating the political correctness of others.

  2. Attacking Barbie has lost it’s sting. CURVE should direct attention to living models and actresses. Nearly all of which perpetuate the size zero standard. While it may be possible to achieve the body of Auschwitz inmate, there is nothing healthy about it. The wire-hanger as the feminine ideal is a relatively recent phenomenon. Many of us would like to see a return to the soft curves of voluptuousness.

  3. Never miss a chance to pick on the Douglass students, right Nick? I wonder if they’ll boycott Calista Flockhart’s induction into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni. See

    btw, how do we nominate you?

  4. It’s the fashion designers that want the skinny girls because they like the way their clothes “just hang” on them…and they all to be about the same size because they model the same clothes.

    But, as far as I can tell, nobody else thinks a fashion model’s figure is ideal — especially heterosexual men!! I mean, look at the models in Vogue or Glamour (they’re stick figures!), and then look at women in Playboy and Hustler (they have hips and boobs and butts! And long hair dammit!!).

  5. RE: Calista Flockhart and Rutgers Univ’s Distinguished Alums with Eating Disorders. I’m figuring that it’s only a matter of time before James Gandolfini is ushered into that hallowed space; when that happens, we can add CF’s body mass to Tony Soprano’s, divide by two, and have a couple of mesomorphs to be proud of.

  6. Thanks for posting this thing! I thought Davida Eisenberg was very astute and shows she knows alot about women’s bodies! Thanks very much for having something else besides the war!

    Thanks very much!

  7. happy tuesday all!

    oh my. that mod hair ken looks a lot like michael jackson…

    these types of barbie studies come ’round every once in a while, and the theme is exactly the same: barbie damages self-image.

    are there data to suggest that, say, GI Joe or Batman or Colonel Steve Austin (the $6 million man)figures have the same negative effect on boys and girls who play with them as well?

    just as barbie would imply anorexia and silicone, wouldn’t the male figures suggest steroids etc.?

    ah yes, another post-modern nightmare…


  8. “Barbie is seven feet tall while weighing 110 lbs.”

    The ideal woman is in the WNBA? Yuck!

  9. Oh yes, I’m sorry I’m always wanted to have sex with fat, butt-ugly women, but the evil capitalists and their darn “Beauty Myth” has made me attracted to physically fit females that don’t look like the average feminist scholar.

    It soooo unfair. 😐

  10. Is it just me, or does the Mod Hair Ken look like the dude in Something About Mary that got his beans and franks caught in his zipper?

  11. Great site Warren. Thanks.

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