(CNN) — A simple question on Facebook about one of the most popular dolls in the United States has created an online tug-of-war over obesity and body image.
The site, Plus-size-Modeling, posted a pic of a plus-sized Barbie on December 18, with the caption: “Should Toy Companies Start Making Plus-Sized Dolls?”
The reaction has garnered nearly 40,000 likes and more than 2,400 comments, with many people agreeing with the premise – that Barbie, a relic of the 1950s, should be reinvented and depicted in a more realistic way. But many people are outraged at the imagery, saying that an “obese” doll promoted unhealthiness, rather than “realness.”
“Barbie doesn’t need a double chin. You can be ‘plus size’ w/o the double chin. They could make a ‘thick’ Barbie,” user Vanessa M. commented on Facebook.
“This is not what plus size women looks like. This doll is a terrible impression of a plus size woman,” said Facebook commenter Lisa D.
The essence of the debate is one that has been with us for years now: Is weight a true indicator of a person’s healthiness? Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has long pointed to other factors that may determine a person’s true health, such as high blood pressure and physical inactivity. Another question the debate poses is what statement would it make to a child if they had a plus-sized doll?
Indeed, many commenters were more supportive of a plus-sized Barbie, saying that children should be shown the full spectrum of body shapes and sizes.
“Why? You asked for ‘real beauty’ and you got it. She looks very realistic to me,” said Florence D.
And Alexs A. said: “Omg see all the negative comments on here about being obese! It’s not asking if they should make more dolls obese looking! Plus size doesn’t mean obese! It means woman have curves! And I’m all for woman who have curves! Too many people just judge people by there’s looks which is disgusting!!!!”
Tell us what you think about a plus-size Barbie?
(Copyright 2013, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)