A 'plus-sized' Barbie doll?

There has been an ongoing debate about how young girls are presented with unrealistic images of what defines beauty. Might it be time to give youngsters a more positive image of how they really look?

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A controversy is brewing over a request to remake Barbie in way contrary to the iconic image so many girls knew growing up.

Plus-Size-Modeling.com is suggesting Mattel create a plus-size Barbie. While some say more realistic curves would be a better role model for girls, others say an overly large Barbie would be an unhealthy example.

Plus Size Modeling conducted a poll on its Facebook page on Dec. 18 asking, "Should toy companies start making Plus Sized Barbie dolls?" In just under two weeks, a picture of the poll has received over 40,000 likes, 5,000 comments and 2,700 shares.

"Sure, but Barbie doesn't need a double chin," one comment said. "You can be 'plus size' w/o the double chin. They could make a 'thick' Barbie."

"Portraying Barbie as a realistic woman with real curves is a very good idea and would send the right message to young girls about self-esteem," another comment said. "Making a morbidly obese Barbie is BAD!!"

Then there's this opinion:

"Okay I honestly don't think how a Barbie looks affects a child's self-esteem. When I was little I didn't wanna look like Barbie. Lol. I didn't think about my looks at all I just wanted to play..."

Women come in all shapes and sizes and Mattel would run out of plastic trying to satisfy everyone who wants a Barbie that looks like them. But society does indeed present unrealistic views of women and what is physically attractive. The solution to that problem will only be found in imbuing young girls with self-respect and self-esteem. Falling prey to stereotypes can be overcome if girls can be shown that having a positive attitude about one's body and body type is far more preferable than any fantasy girl promoted in ads and TV shows.

There's nothing wrong with being plus-sized if you're a woman as long as you're healthy. That should be the underlying message to kids who constantly worry about not measuring up to the artificial standards of beauty being pushed by the fashion and entertainment industries.