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Barbie Dolls Are Dangerous To Young Girls, New Study Says

First Posted: Jan 30, 2017 04:17 AM EST

As young girls play with their Barbie dolls to wander off into the beautiful world of their imaginations, a new study warns parents of the lasting effects of the idea of physical perfection to their developing minds.

Mirror UK reported that a study published in the journal Body Image reveals the dangerous effect of playing with Barbie dolls to young girls. Getting exposed to the doll's skinny figure reportedly gives them a misleading representation of what human form looks like, which may influence their ideas on what their bodies should be.

For the study, researchers in Australia observed 160 girls from ages 5 to 8. They found out that it only took these girls one playtime to absorb and develop an ideal image of a girl's body based on the doll's extremely thin figure.

"Children should not to be given Barbies when they are young," international body image expert Marika Tiggemann told the Herald Sun. "If girls already have Barbies then parents should encourage them to do more than just make them look ­pretty."

According to Professor Tiggemann, the doll creates a huge impact on these young girls, making them believe that being thin is very important.

"Exposure to Barbie promoted internalisation of the thin ideal in this sample of girls," she said. "This means they think appearance is important and in particular being skinny is good. If fat is bad, then thin is good, and thinner is better."

Mattel, Barbie's manufacturer, defended its 57-year-old product, saying it has released a 'curvy' Barbie in response to this issue. It also released Barbie dolls in 'tall' and 'petite' figures to keep up with the modern times.

"Yes, some people will say we are late to the game," head of the Barbie brand Evelyn Mazzocco told The Time according to Huffington Post. "But changes at a huge corporation take time."

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