Why Women Should Not Aspire To Look Like Barbie

life-sized Barbie

Although most people don't uphold Barbie dolls as their standard of beauty, you could argue that their popularity reflects our idolization of a particular female body type. Namely, the type that is tall, skinny, long-legged, big-breasted, and virtually hairless. If you possess these attributes, you'll be envied by women, desired by men, and generally regarded as physically perfect. 5 Countries Where Skinny Isn't Sexy

Maybe that's an exaggeration, but you know what else is? Barbie. People say that if she were a real person, she would be 5 feet nine inches tall with a 39-inch bust, an 18-inch waist, and 33-inch hips. Those measurements sound ridiculous, but the extent to which women would go to attain them is no joke. In response to the growing crisis of eating disorders, Galia Slayen, a young woman suffering from one herself, built a 6-foot tall, to-scale model of a Barbie to show attendants at her school's National Eating Disorder Awareness Week how freakish Barbie would look as a life-sized person.

Making the doll wasn't easy. Slayen and a friend nailed together two sticks of wood to make Barbie's lanky frame. To fill out the body, she used chicken wire stuffed with newspaper. Next came the paper-maché skin, painted to match Barbie's flawlessly fair skintone. She even blew up balloon after balloon to achieve Barbie's 39-inch bustline. For the head, Slayen used one of those extra-large Barbie heads children use to practice brushing hair. Once Barbie's body was assembled, Slayen dressed her in the clothes she wore while struggling with anorexia. What Guys Think: Skinny vs. Curvy Women

The final result wasn't pretty, but it certainly sparked discussion. Since making its appearance at Slayen's high school and at Hamilton College, which commemorated its first National Eating Disorder Week in 2011, Barbie has won Slayen attention on the Today Show and in the Huffington Post.

Although Slayen built her real-life Barbie to raise awareness on eating disorders, we all know that body image and relationships are inextricably connected. A recent survey in Fitness magazine revealed that 51 percent of women would give up sex for a year in exchange for being skinny. But as the life-sized Barbie shows, we shouldn't take extreme measures in order to attain the perfect waist, breasts and legs, when it's more important to maintain a figure that is suited to your natural body type (trust us, there's nothing natural about looking like the doll pictured above).

Image courtesy of The Huffington Post