The latest figure is one of a line of gradually decreasing percentages as experts ask: is our love affair with this dainty little doll over? And if so – why?
Barclays analyst Felicia Hendrix believes part of the reason is that children are opting for new release dolls such as American Girl Doll and the Monster High Dolls (part human part monster teen, of course).
The question is, why are these newcomers looking so much more attractive than the classic Barbie doll and her snazzy pink Cadillac?
Mary Shearman of Simon Fraser University (U.S.) is currently researching her PhD in gender, sexuality and women’s studies. She thinks the reason for Barbie’s slump is simple: body image.
With her impossibly tiny waist, pert bosom, cascading golden hair and gazelle-like legs, it seems Barbie might not be the best role model for little girls after all.
Parents are becoming increasingly anxious about their children growing up feeling inferior and insecure about their looks. According to one study by the University of Sussex, these fears are not unfounded.
When children aged five to eight were exposed to either images of Barbie dolls, or photos of a fuller-figured doll called Emme, the children exposed to the Barbie images reported lower body confidence and a greater desire to be thin.
The report concluded: “Early exposure to dolls epitomizing an unrealistically thin body ideal may damage girls’ body image, which would contribute to an increased risk of disordered eating and weight cycling.”
Body image issues affect a huge number of girls and women in the UK. Images pushed by the media can lower self-esteem and increase levels of unhappiness.
If you are fed up of feeling inferior and you would like to view yourself in a more positive light, then a hypnotherapist might be able to help you. Please view our page about Low Self-Esteem to find out more.
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