The Instigator
Mysery
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
lyokowarri0r
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Barbie is bad for body image

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mysery
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/18/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 545 times Debate No: 91418
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

Mysery

Con

I believe that playing with Barbie dolls as a young child is NOT inherently bad for body image. Pro will be arguing that Barbie does indeed have a negative impact on body image. You can specify if you want to discuss just Barbie's impact on girls, or include Ken's impact on boys.

8,000 characters, but no penalty for shorter arguments, if they get the job done.

First round is acceptance.
Second round is opening statements.
Third round is rebuttals.
Fourth round is conclusion.

I'm not picky about following the outline, though. Put rebuttals in the opening or closing and introduce new points in rebuttals, if you want. Just don't introduce any new points in the conclusion.
lyokowarri0r

Pro

I accept. Looking forward to a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Mysery

Con

The BoP is on Pro here, but I'll lay a few things out to get things started.

The argument I have heard the most against Barbie is that young girls compare themselves to her, even though her proportions are not realistic; however, I disagree that Barbies are childrens' main source of comparison. As a child, I compared myself to my friends, to movie stars, to models in magazines... the list goes on and on, but it doesn't include my toys. Why? Because Barbie is unrealistic. She's a doll. The fact that she's out of proportion just emphasizes that.

Barbie proves that girls can look pretty and still be intelligent and talented. This (1) Barbie is a doctor, and it's part of the Career Barbie line. It proves that girls can be anything they want to be. The question isn't "Beauty or brains?" You can have both.

(1) http://www.amazon.com...;
lyokowarri0r

Pro

http://willettsurvey.org...

This study really says it all. It clearly shows a trend to self esteem and body dissatisfaction depending whether or not a child was playing with Barbie dolls. This can be explained by social learning theory made by Bandura. His bobo doll experiment shows that children learn and want to mimic people and actions in their environment. Many things do affect children and their body image, we are not debating those. But we still see that the playing with Barbie dolls does create problems with body image.

http://www.simplypsychology.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Mysery

Con

I'm less than impressed with the procedure of that experiment. They didn't measure the children' body image before exposing them to the dolls, so who's the say the children selected to look at Barbie didn't just happen to have a lower self-esteem? Also, the effects of looking at pictures are not the same as the effects of playing with dolls, even according to this very study. The article claims young children identify with the dolls they play with. That would not make them view themselves as fat. If anything, they'd feel thinner. Anyway, this information can't completely be believed, as there are so many red flags surrounding the credibility of this piece.

It's hard to test for self-esteem, anyway. I know that I don't always tell the truth completely when people ask about my self-esteem. Sometimes I'm just having a bad day. Sometimes it's complicated and can't be summed up by a happy, neutral, or sad face.

This study is also described as "the first of its kind" (2). Scientific studies take multiple recreations before complete acceptance. I'm sure I could find 54 girls with fantastic self esteem to look at Barbies and they say they like themselves. If the girls I had look at neutral pictures had negative or normal self esteem, I could then publish a scientific study with little to no information about the participants' history and claim that Barbies raise self-esteem. It would be about as credible as this article. Therefore, it would be a highly illogical leap to assume Barbie has a negative impact on self-esteem just because of this one study.

I don't really understand what the Bobo experiment has to do with anything. The children imitated people. If anything, this proves that children can get low self-esteem from their parents. You say "children learn and want to mimic people and actions in their environment." That doesn't mention dolls. I didn't see anyone pretending to get beat up like Bobo. They didn't imitate him.

(2) Your study
lyokowarri0r

Pro

I agree that scientific research on this topic is thin, but as I agree burden of proof lies with me, I have to work with what is available. And As of now the current thought in the psychological community is that Barbie is negative to body image. This study helps suggest that. We cannot dismiss a point just because it seems to lack significant backing. Studies on smoking were slow and the releasing of them were blocked by tobacco companies. Just because the studies are not plentiful, does not mean we can ignore the issue.

The issue that remains with Barbie is that it shows what is "beauty." You expressed yourself that very thing. But that is the problem when Barbie is the base line of beauty when her body is only achievable by one in 100,000 women. This expectation and false perception of beauty is what leads to eating disorders and lower self esteem. The bobo doll experiment shows that children look up to a "model" and wish to mimic it. That model for many girls is Barbie and they aspire to look like her.

http://www.mirror-mirror.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Mysery

Con

We can't dismiss a point, but I'm not. I'm considering it heavily, and I am yet to see any evidence that is convincing. Your job is to convince me, and you haven't done that. I don't see how Barbie could impact self-esteem. When kids are bombarded with so many more realistic unattainable examples of beauty, we have no reason to believe their toys are a major factor in the problem.

The high expectations for female beauty are certainly a problem, but it is lead by real (well, photoshopped) images, not by dolls.

Your Bobo example just isn't relevant. Kids mirror behavior. If we were arguing about a Barbie movie that positively depicts her having an eating disorder, that would be one thing. We're talking about a doll though. In the Bobo analogy, Barbie is Bobo. Kids will develop their self-esteem based on their parents' behavior. If a mom constantly says that she's fat, the daughter will probably do the same. That causes body-image issues, so I don't understand why people are so quick to blame the toys themselves. This experiment is not comparable to just playing with a toy individually.

That article talks about how eating disorders are caused by unrealistic standards, but it doesn't touch on the main question: Can these unrealistic standards be advanced by dolls?

I believe they can't. I don't think children are comparing themselves to dolls, and that study doesn't give me reason to believe I'm wrong. Why? I have other studies that prove otherwise. In 2010, a study showed that "one toy girls were given didn't affect their body image" (3). In 2014, a study showed "no association between body image and how old they were when they started playing with Barbies" (3), which should matter, if we're comparing it to other methods of indoctrination to beauty ideals.

You're right-- there's no conclusive research on this. So we must consider it rationally. It doesn't seem rational to me to believe children want to be their dolls.

(3) https://psmag.com...
lyokowarri0r

Pro

I concede. Good job.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Mysery 1 year ago
Mysery
@ lyokowarri0r Thanks, good debate!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Danielle 1 year ago
Danielle
Myserylyokowarri0rTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded arguments.
Vote Placed by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
Myserylyokowarri0rTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded