I've spent a good many years blaming Barbie, Bratz and the like for most of the problems so many young girls (and grown women) seem to have with self-image. I just read an article posted by Ruth that shook the foundation of all those arguments, and made me take a long hard look at my growing up, and at my dinner conversation.
I can't say I hadn't thought about my tendency to blame culture, or about the importance of my own attitude toward my own body and my ideas about beauty in general. I also cannot say, however, that I had ever connect these concepts, and realized that while Barbie, Bratz, and all the images with which we and our daughters are inundated on a daily basis mean nothing next to the influence a mother and a father weild in the mind of a child. My comfort with my own body, and my husband's unconditional love for me, will speak volumes more to my daughter in the long run than a ridiculously proportioned doll.
That said, I'm still not a fan. Why Barbie could have been made with smaller breasts and a tiny bit larger waist, I'll never understand. Oh, and flat feet. Who wears heels everyday? Srsly.