Family Time

They are beloved by little girls everywhere.

But now your daughter's precious Barbies could be giving them a complex about their weight.

Research published in the Body Image Journal, found that the dolls made girls as young as five see having a skinny body as ideal.

The findings were based on the study of 160 little girls from Australia aged five to eight years old.

On a personal note, my five-year-old daughter asked me why her tummy wasn't flat like Barbie's. I was truly shocked but explained that we had to accommodate our internal bits and pieces whereas Barbie didn't. It made me stop and think about what ideal I was allowing her to be exposed to- that all girls should have teeny feet and perfect blonde hair.

To be honest, the main issue I have is the ditzy nonsense Barbie comes out with on the cartoon Barbie and the Dream House. Any parent who has watched it will understand what I mean.

Now an international body image expert has gone one step further.

Speaking to the Herald Sun, Marika Tiggemann went one step further - she recommended that parents shouldn't allow their daughters to play with the dolls.

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"Children should 'not to be given ­Barbies when they are young. If girls already have Barbies then parents should encourage them to do more than just make them look ­pretty.Exposure to Barbie promoted internalisation of the thin ideal in this sample of girls. This means they think appearance is important and in particular being skinny is good. If fat is bad, then thin is good, and thinner is better."

Barbie Maker, Mattel has disputed the findings and said it failed to accurately represent realistic play experiences. The toy company pointed out how they had released a range of 'curvy' Barbies.

Ms Tiggemann says while it is a good start - more can be done to teach children that being perfect isn't real life.

 What do you think Mamas? Do you have an issue with the dolls or do you think it is a little OTT? Did you grow up with Barbies? 

Read more about:

health, dolls, Barbie