Barbie became one of the hottest topics on Twitter Tuesday night after pop star Demi Lovato tweeted a photo of a Barbie doll that was altered to have realistic proportions. The photo showed a typical Barbie doll next to a shorter, curvier-looking model.
Lovato tweeted: “I didn't do this, BARBIE did, and it's so amazing that they did!!! RT @ddlovato @Barbie YOU DID THIS DEMI. YOU'RE SO AMAZING. I LOVE YOU.” Then she added: “Can I also say, that... That new @barbie's got BACK!!!!! Hahahaha #bootybootybootyboottrockineverywhere,” referring to the new doll’s voluptuous curves.
Indeed the iconic doll, born in the late 1950s, has long been criticized for her unrealistic proportions. The official Barbie has such a long neck that if she were a human she wouldn’t be able to keep her head up, the Huffington Post wrote. Also, the feet are so tiny, a size 3 in kids, that she would have to walk on all fours to get around. But that’s not all; the famous doll's wrists are too tiny to perform any heavy lifting. Here are the measurements for a life-sized Barbie as opposed to the average American woman, as reported by the Huffington Post:
Barbie’s head has a 22-inch circumference, while the average human head measures 20 inches around. Barbie’s neck is only 9 inches around, while the average human's neck is 15 inches around. Her bust is 32 inches, vs. 35 inches for the average girl. The famous doll’s wrists measure 3.5 inches, but a typical woman’s wrist is 6.5 inches. Here’s where two of the major discrepancies come from: Barbie’s waist is only 16 inches and her hips are only 29 inches, while the average woman's waistline measures 35 inches and hips measure 40 inches.
Though Lovato was being credited with the image since she posted it to her 15.5 million followers, artist Nickolay Lamm, from Pittsburgh, is the one responsible for recreating the iconic Mattel doll. According to the New York Daily News, he used the proportions of the average 19-year-old girl.
“I wanted to see if an average-sized Barbie had market potential,” the 24-year-old artist told the Daily News. “I’m pretty pleased with how the normal model looks and was personally surprised by how well she turned out.”
“I feel there’s a good chance Barbie negatively affects young girls’ body image,” he said. “If skinny models get so much criticism, shouldn’t we at least consider the possibility that Barbie affects a young girl’s self-image?”
Check out some Twitter comments about the revised doll:
If Barbie actually had realistic proportions. How cool is that? pic.twitter.com/fD2DmXMv0L
— Pamela McLeod (@_PamelaMcLeod) July 3, 2013
— hope oberjtuqixoficz (@hopevista) July 3, 2013
— Dianna De La Garza (@DiannaDeLaGarza) July 3, 2013