Obviously, a Barbie body isn’t realistic, but when you compare her to the average woman, the numbers are shocking. For starters, if Barbie was a real woman, she’d have no choice but to walk on all fours and would be physically incapable of lifting her over-sized head.
Using data from the 1996 study Ken and Barbie At Life Size, which was originally published in the academic journal Sex Roles, Rehabs.com compares the proportions of Barbie’s body to the body of the average American woman, as well as the average model and the average anorexic woman.
While Barbie’s head is two inches larger than the average US woman’s, her waist is 19 inches smaller and her hips are 11 inches smaller. Since her waist would be four inches thinner than her head, Barbie’s body wouldn’t have the room it needs to hold all of its vital organs, and her uber-skinny ankles and child-size feet would make it necessary for her to walk on all fours.
The infographic was created as part of a larger report on body hatred among young women, which also reveals that Anorexia nervosa is the single deadliest mental health condition, and 5% to 20% of people diagnosed with anorexia will ultimately die from its ravaging effects on the body.
This is a disturbing reminder of how pop culture, toys, and manufactured images of beauty can negatively influence both women and girls when it comes to body image.