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Abstract

Objective: Barbie, the toy fashion doll, has been subjected to extensive speculation but little empirical investigation as to whether her thin persona exerts a negative influence on the self-image of young girls. The present study was conducted to examine the impact of childhood Barbie play versus other factors on self-image and dieting behaviors of young women. Method: A survey was completed by 254 undergraduate women that included questions about childhood Barbie play, family characteristics, satisfaction with their own appearance, and eating behaviors. Results: Neither age of acquisition or number of Barbies owned had a significant impact on self-evaluations of appearance or on dieting behavior. The strongest predictor of dieting behavior was the women’s recollection of how much physical appearance was valued by her family of origin members.

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Correspondence to J. Worobey PhD.

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Worobey, J. Barbie at 50: Maligned but benign?. Eat Weight Disord 14, e219–e224 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03325120

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