July 16, 2001    





Is Barbie a good role model for girls?

Uh, let's see. She's always changing jobs, spending more money than she can probably afford on tasteless clothes and a pink car. . .I think not. Not to mention the fact that she graduated AFTER being a doctor (at least some of the many times she graduated), so she could probably be sued for malpractice.

Karen, 21

First, Barbie has no character traits, she's just a doll with a lot of stuff. I don't believe that her figure is a good role model for young girls though-society already puts way too much emphasis on the idea that thin is beautiful...and the idea of beauty as a number on the scale is just ridiculous. I would let my child play with Barbie dolls...I see no problem with that, it's good for role playing/fantasy play and an essential part of development. But I would also stress that just because you don't have perfect measurements it doesn't mean you aren't a beautiful person. Beauty is more than numbers-it's who you are.

Angela, 16
Bella Vista

It is not possible for Barbie to be a role model. She does not do anything. She is made of PLASTIC. She could be considered an image model. She's skinny, busty, and cute. Little girls shouldn't think they HAVE to be like this.

Firelady, 23
, TX   USA

You know I played with Barbie and her friends when I was young and had lots of fun acting out all sorts of scenerios. Much more engaging than a baby doll. I think objects take on the meaning we want them too. Frankly, I worry a lot more about the tons of TV, magazine, and other images of women we have in our lives. As for being a role model? It's a toy.

Felicia, 35
, MA   USA

Not particularly. I've always refused to buy girls Barbie dolls. In fairness, however, I have read some of the Barbie books to children, and they seem reasonably effective in teaching them strategies to cope with life situations, such as the arrival of a new baby, or a conflict with friends.

Jane, 60
West Linn
, OR   USA

No, I don't think Barbie is a good role model. Barbie is too perfect looking and girls shouldnt get the idea that looks are everything. It is what is on the inside that counts.

Heather, 15

No Barbie is not a good role model for children as I think it makes girls think they should look like her and it is not that way. Alot of girls think they should be skinny abd beautiful like Barbe. But true life we are not all built like Barbie and cannot be like her.

Marci, 56
, OH   USA

I really wasn't aware that a doll could be an actual "role model," and think too many people (who dream up this sort of stuff) have too much time on their hands. It's a doll. It only behaves the way the puppetmaster wishes it to. As for the figure, I don't think a whole lot of 8 and 10 year old girls are really that concerned about the size of their waist yet. Let the kids play for Christ sake.

Fisch, 45
, CT   USA

Although I don't really understand how a doll with zero personality and zero achievements can be a role model, I don't find anything overly negative about Barbie.

Jaden, 21
Brampton, Ontario  CANADA

No, I don't think so. However, that's not why I don't buy them for anyone. I don't buy them for young friends because I feel that's like giving them their VERY FIRST cocaine - a neverending habit with more and more to buy.

Reba, 51
, MD   USA

Yes and No. She is a good role-model because she is portrayed as many different characters and jobs letting girls know they can do anything they want. From a princess to a doctor. However, they way that her body is shaped is very unrealistic. There are no chubby, or overwweight Barbies. No small breasted or ven unattractive Barbies. Maybe there needs to be a more diverse type of Barbie. Fat ones, Skinny ones, Pretty ones, Average ones and even Ethnic ones (Oriental or Indian). Little girls really pay alot of attention to what other girls and

Stephanie, 25

I don't consider Barbie a Role Model at all. I played with Barbies all the time when I was a kid, and I never thought that I was suposed to be as skinny or pretty as her. When kids play with Barbies, Barbie is whoever you want her to be that day. She is just a doll and thats it. Girls who are too play with Barbies are too young to know any different.

Dianne, 16
Ontario  CANADA

I don't know. She does and has lots cool things. She's a vet, a doctor, a fashion model. It certainly projects an image that girls can pick from many career paths. Her body is impressive. But when I played with Barbie as a little girl, I just dreamed of having the convertible car.

Janet, 42
E. Brunswick

I don't think Barbie is a good role model. Popularity isn't everything, you know.

Jill, 60

My reply to that would be, is suicide a good answer to all life's problems? The answer is the same: HELL NO.

Talia, 23
, CT   USA

All I can say is that when I was a little girl playing with my Barbie, I had no aspirations to look like her when I got older. What I did want was to grow up and be a doctor like her and live in a huge mansion.So, I think that she could definitely be a good role model.Also, the pink Corvette was nice.

Jennifer, 19

NO! Barbie is terrible!!


Barbie??? A ROLE MODEL? Since when did she get this title. Last I knew she was a plastic doll. Did the good fairy come and bring her to life? I would absolutely have to say NO...not a good role model. Good super model perhaps. I dont know, I just hope more kids are looking up to real people and not an inanimate piece of plastic. Now barbie, I would say she's an okay toy.

Ry, 23

I don't think she was intended to be a role model any more than the hula hoop was.

Alias Irrelevante

no. she might have all those cool careers and everything, but look at her!

Karen2, 15
, MA   USA

I'll tell you what...I'm not a skinny, drop dead gorgeous girl and I don't have an eating disorder and I played with Barbie dolls all of my childhood. What small child actually sits there and thinks about how she should look compared to a small plastic doll? Not many is my bet, not that a few out there may develop problems and want to be like Barbie, but those problems did not stem JUST from playing with a TOY!

Tracy, 24
Ocean City

How can one even think Barbie is a roll model? what has she done? Has she cured AIDS, or cancer. Fought for civil rights? Freed slaves? She hasn't done anything to be considered a role   model. She's just a doll, and a stupid one at that.

Anjel, 20

Better than some parents.

Jami, 27
, MA   USA

Barbie is a doll. Girls will project onto their dolls what they've learned girls/young women should be. I played with Barbies until I was 13 years old and reluctantly put them away. My friend and I always had Barbies with strong personalities, great careers and lots of money. Ken (if we decided to play with him) was usually the butler. So, to answer the question: Barbie is not a role model; good or bad. The women in young girls' lives are their role models and hopefully they are mature, clear thinking, independent women.

Laura, 36
, MA   USA


Barbies haven't disappeared from toy shelves inspite of all the criticism that has been displayed by those who are educated as well as the not so educated individuals. Year after year. we find that Barbie remains the dominant toy in the pink aisles of most toy stores.


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