Sports Illustrated editors have made the controversial decision to feature a plastic model of Barbie in their long -anticipated 50th anniversary Swimsuit Issue. And that's got me stirred up!
When the issue debuts next week, the doll will wear a black and white striped one-piece swimsuit identical to the one she wore in 1959, the year she debuted. I reserve two simple words for Barbie: anatomically incorrect. Her body is downright unrealistic and unhealthy. If Barbie were, dread the thought, a real person she would have a waist that measures the size of a dinner plate - at the most. She'd be 5'9" feet tall and tip the scales with a weight of about 110 pounds. Yet somehow toy makers manage to give her a size 34 D bra. By comparison, the average women in the U.S. stands 5'4" and weighs 144 pounds and dresses in plus size
14. Sports Illustrated and Barbie develop tough skins when it comes to defending the bizarre, distorted image of women they perpetuate. Sports Illustrated digs into a position of "unapologetic" for the images they use to perpetuate women's bodies. Editors have said showcasing Barbie gives her a chance to celebrate their accomplishments.
Mattel, the giant toy company that owns Barbie, defends the doll as a "legend in her own right" just like top models, including Heidi Klum, who also earns the honor of posing in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Toy designers claim Barbie's anorexic figures is necessary to make it easy little girls to dress and undress the doll in clothes that have been around for more than half a century. It appears too late to get this Barbie campaign under control. Plans are already underway to kick off the marketing push with billboards in Times Square as Barbie makes a splash in Sport Illustrated. Hopefully, the big wave of attention on the 55-year-old doll will wash out to sea in the next tide.