Barbie Designer: Body Size Not Meant To Be Realistic, Doesn't Influence Girls

Mattel has sometimes been criticized over its iconic Barbie doll having unrealistic measurements -- too skinny with too large breasts and a waist and hips that are too proportionately small. But the lead Barbie designer says in a new interview with Fast Company that the doll's proportions aren't meant to be realistic, and that those distorted measurements don't influence girls' body image. Barbie vice president of design Kim Culmone said the proportions are designed to make it easy for girls to dress and undress the dolls, explaining, "Barbie's body was never meant to be realistic . . . Primarily it’s for function for the little girl, for real life fabrics to be able to be turned and sewn, and have the outfit still fall properly on her body." Dismissing the body image criticism, Sulmone said, "Girls view the world completely differently than grown-ups do. They don’t come at it with the same angles and baggage and all that stuff that we do. Clearly, the influences for girls on those types of issues, whether it’s body image or anything else, it’s proven, it’s peers, moms, parents, it’s their social circles."