Barbie Fest

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Galia's Slayen's Life-Sized Barbie Raises Awareness about Eating Disorders

A lot of little girls and even a few little boys grow up adoring Barbie as they lug her around their homes, fight over her with their siblings and neighbors, and use her blonde locks for beauty school practice. I don’t think all that many of the young kids who LOVE Barbie and all that she represents realize what a freak of nature she actually is when you consider her body proportions.

I’d never actually seen a picture of what an actual, life-sized barbie until recently when I came across this article in the Huffington Post.

Galia Slayen, a former cheerleader with an eating disorder, chose to make a life-sized Barbie from scratch to show her contemporaries how strange and disproportionate Barbie’s figure actually is and highlight the important issue of teen eating disorders.  Using gumption, a wood frame, chicken wire, paper mache, and a Barbie head (the kind kids use to practice their hairstyling skills on), Galia Slayen created her own Frankenbarbie, pictured above.

Galia Slayen’s Barbie is a 39-18-33—which is close to the real measurements Barbie would have if she were 6’ tall. Barbie is wearing the actual skirt that Galia Slayen wore when she was a sized-zero cheerleader because Galia wanted to show the world some of the pain she felt as a result of her own struggle with eating disorders and the pressure to look perfect that she felt as a cheerleader. Galia’s Barbie made her first appearance at her high school and then at her college; in both cases, Barbie was showcased for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, as she has been in other locations for the last two years.

In her article in the Huffington Post about her Barbie, Galia Slayen cited a few statistics on Barbie that she thinks it’s important for people to know to understand how disproportionate a barbie doll actually is.

More "Get Real, Barbie" statistics:*

• There are two Barbie dolls sold every second in the world.
• The target market for Barbie doll sales is young girls ages 3-12 years of age.
• A girl usually has her first Barbie by age 3, and collects a total of seven dolls during her childhood.
• Over a billion dollars worth of Barbie dolls and accessories were sold in 1993, making this doll big business and one of the top 10 toys sold.
• If Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5'9" tall, have a 39" bust, an 18" waist, 33" hips and a size 3 shoe.
• Barbie calls this a "full figure" and likes her weight at 110 lbs.
• At 5'9" tall and weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia. She likely would not menstruate.
• If Barbie was a real woman, she'd have to walk on all fours due to her proportions.
• Slumber Party Barbie was introduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs with a book entitled "How to Lose Weight" with directions inside stating simply "Don't eat."