We all know Southern California's own Barbie is a figment of the imagination, an idealized and unrealistic form of femininity realized only by the likes of Angelyne, Paris Hilton and Kate Upton.
As a mostly blonde, blue-eyed figure, her "genes" aren't even representative of the majority of American females. Still, Barbie has influence, especially on little girls. One artist expanded Barbie's dimensions to come up with images of what Barbie would look like if she reflected the size of the average 19-year-old American woman:
Yes, Barbie's got back!
Welcome to contemporary America, girl. The artist in question is Pittsburgh's Nickolay Lamm, who was gracious enough to let us use these photos of his project.
He argues that while Barbie, from El Segundo-based Mattel, is just an inanimate object, she has her fans. Young fans:
Some people say that we shouldn't pay attention to the body proportions of Barbie because she is just a toy. On the surface, that sounds like a valid argument. But a closer look, through research, suggests that Barbie may lead to the following...
Heightened body dissatisfaction among young girls (Dittmar)
Unhealthy eating behaviors (Dittmar)
A desire to achieve a slim body and therefore eat less (Anschutz)
And so he brings you Britney Spears Barbie. Christina Aguilera Barbie? Mexican-Guys'-Favorite-Type-Of-White-Girl Barbie!
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Interestingly, it seems as if America has looked itself in the mirror and come to some sort of detente with our chunky reality.
With the help of hip-hop, we have welcomed the jelly flavored female -- Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez -- to the canon of women whose physiques we admire.
Still, it seems that Mattel has some catching up to do.