The Instigator
kboudreau
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
stark73
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Do Barbie dolls have a negative influence on young girls?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
kboudreau
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 22,781 times Debate No: 15418
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

kboudreau

Pro

I will be arguing Pro, stating that Barbie dolls have a negative influence on young girls. From a young age girls are given their first Barbie doll and taught what "perfect" should be. Barbie portrays the perfect image and life. Not only is Barbie tall, skinny and beautiful, she has all the luxurious accessories to match her perfect life. To go along with her perfect life she is accompanied with the perfect boyfriend, family and dream house. At a young age girls are being influenced by this doll, what she should look like, and what kind of life she should lead. Young girls strive to achieve this look which is life threatening to obtain. Regardless of the changes they made to Barbie, she is still far from real. What many girls forget when comparing themselves to Barbie is that plastic can be molded any which way, but people aren't plastic, and in transforming your body to become "plastic", fatal consequences are at risk.
stark73

Con

Thank you for posting this. Should Superman be banned or batman action figures? They clearly are "platstic" and muscular and "perfect." By your logic, we should ban all action figures because they have negative influence on girls.

You said that barbie dolls encourage girls to be skinny:

I say this wasn't the intent and this is the people's perception. People's perception can be wrong and biased sometimes. For example, in middle schools and maybe high school there are tons of people swooping at any remark hoping to link it to something sexual. This shows that people are eager to swoop down on something, whether it be a product, joke, or celebrity and perceive it to be the worst. Furthermore, on to the point about it encouraging skinniness? Why is this bad? Barbie dolls are manafactured in America, and America is famous for it's obesity. Obesity causes social stigma and causes girls to be the subject of rude jokes, so in reality if barbie dolls help these girls see at a young age that being skinny is not only pleasing to others but good for them and their health as well, then I think that's ok. I say enough with the "Just be yourself" stuff. You can still be yourself and lose a little weight.

"At a young age girls are being influenced by this doll, what she should look like, and what kind of life she should lead. Young girls strive to achieve this look which is life threatening to obtain. "

Let me ask you this, are most girls in AMerica dating Mr Barbie and living as a fashion model or beauty model or whatever barbie does? NO! Many girls in America have productive jobs, they forget all about barbie. I have never seen a grown women aspring to be a barbie doll tell me if you find one that does.

Furthermore, barbie is simply the brand of the doll making company, this doesn't mean all barbie dolls are skinny and plastic. For example, Arabs have "Fulla Barbie dolls" which adhere to more middle eastern images of a "perfect woman." I say the barbie doll brand is not necessarily a negative influence, only the type of dolls.

And I'm pretty sure barbie dolls don't encourage skinniness in the first place, I think it's more of the media that does this, barbie dolls are simply there. And think about it, would you want a fat doll for your child? The barbie company has to sell something pleasing, not something like a fat ugly doll, because what if your child aspires to be like the fat doll instead of the skinny one? I think that would be worse for society. Vote con if you agree.
Debate Round No. 1
kboudreau

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting my challenge.

The first negative influence I will be arguing is the effect Barbie has on a young girls body image.
As my opponent had stated, "I think it's more of the media that does this, Barbie dolls are simply there." And I agree with this, the media greatly influences girls to reach this "perfection" which is unattainable; unfortunately Barbie is there first to instill this image at a much much younger age.

Due to Barbie's skinny waist, large breasts, and long legs, girls begin to think this is how every female should look. Even as innocent children, girls form these images on how they're "supposed" to look, which happen to resemble Barbie's unnatural figure. The average girl as young as three and up to eleven own at least ten Barbie dolls and spends more time playing and dressing up these dolls than anything else. It is a proven fact that the more time you spend doing/with something, the greater influence it will have on you, (1). "If Barbie were a real person, her waist would be 39 percent smaller than an anorexic patient's," Helga Dittmar and Emma Halliwell in their book "Consumer Culture, Identity, and Well-Being." Barbie's body proportions life size would be 32-17-28, which only 2 in 100,000 women have. According to Boston University student K. Wysocki: "Barbie's neck is twice as long as the average human's which would make it impossible to hold up her head.... Barbie's legs are 50% longer than her arms, whereas the average woman's legs are only 20% longer than her arms.... If a woman had the same measurements as Barbie, she would not have enough body fat to menstruate (and obviously to have children)," (2).

Another argument you state is "America is famous for it's obesity." That is true, but 7 million women suffer from an eating disorder in America. "Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents, 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight, The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old," (3).
Barbie is not just "skinny" her proportions are of a woman who is anorexic.

My opponent also stated, "I have never seen a grown women aspring to be a barbie doll tell me if you find one that does."—Let me ask you... What about all the teenagers and women who undergo plastic surgery?

One last point, my argument is against "Barbie" and the Arab Fulla Doll, is not a Mattel product.

Vote Pro.

Sources:
1.Negative Effects of Barbie on Girls | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com...
2.http://www.teenink.com...
3.http://www.state.sc.us...
stark73

Con

Thank you.

First, I would like to point out although my opponent states alot about anorexia and how alot of women suffer from anorexia, she fails to link it back to specifically barbie dolls. she agrees that the media has alot more to do with it then barbie dolls. I say the influence of barbie dolls is so meaningless it can't have a "negative" effect. In fact a recent study(sources at bottom) suggest that barbie dolls are growing out of fashion and getting ridiculed. Man girls aspire perhaps to be jennifer aniston or some other actress or beatiful woman, but how many girls aspire to be a barbie doll? For example, I might want to be tom cruise or kobe bryant, but why would I aspire to be a kobe bryant action figure? It's smaller and uglier than the real thing.She says the barbie doll is technically "anorexic" however wouldn't that be a deterrence for women NOT to become a "barbie?" Furthermore, I say more women are still obese, I have the source fcor this at the bottom, so we have to look towards solving obesity above solving anorexia. Furthermore, she asks me how many people have plastic surgery, I actually would like to know this statistic as well, if my opponent could provide it, I say even if the percentage was 100% that still doesn't mean that it was caused by barbie dolls. My opponent fails to demonstrate any conclusvie studies linking barbie dolls to specifically extreme skinniness. I would also say barbie dolls promote women doing typically manly jobs, so that could be postive for societal welfare.Honeslty, what is the alternative to no barbie dolls? Either one, the company goes bankrupt which would be unfair considering many people work there and need the jobs or B produce more" typical" barbies. However, I would say these dolls do not sell and you could also argue "typical" dolls encourage not excelling. The third option is make "Big" dolls, which wold encourge obesity, an even bigger problem than anorexia. So with this being in mind, keeping the "skinny" dolls saves more money and maximizies the best consequences.

Thank you, I look forward to my opponent's response.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://kids.lovetoknow.com...
http://216.185.112.5/presenter.jhtml?identifier=742
Debate Round No. 2
kboudreau

Pro

Again, thank you Con for accepting my argument.

At young age girls are given numerous amounts of dolls, but Barbie has always stood out amongst the crowd; she has the figure of a women, not a child like many other dolls have. I may have said the media plays a great role in influence, and I'm sticking by what I said, but I did not say it is greater than a Barbie. At the ages of three and four young girls are not concerned with the media, in fact, they can't even read the tabloids, and do not know who Jennifer Aniston is, or other women celebrities. At this young age Barbie is the first exposure to looks and fashion.

My statistics show that in life-size proportions Barbie is anorexic, but what 4 year old can even determine being that skinny is a bad thing. They do however have the ability to desire, aspire, and mimic what they see. My point of this argument is that Barbie instills this image of perfection at such a young age and these girls carry it with them for life. Young girls aspire for this "perfect" figure, which again I state is impossible to obtain (shown in earlier round). In trying to look like Barbie, one would need to be anorexic and have many plastic surgeries.

My opponent asked for one case in which a woman aspired to be Barbie, however, there is many more. Mattel even has a "Life-Size" Barbie who stands at 3' tall, the difference between her and the average young girl at 3', is the womanly shape, curves and breasts.
"One British woman had plastic surgery done to every part of her, except her feet, in an effort to become Barbie," (1).

Here are some facts about plastic surgery, Barbie may not be the only cause for girls to want this look, but she is a major factor, and we can't afford to bypass a factor, which has serious consequences. "For the last ten years, the consensus has been that breast augmentation was the most popular plastic surgery procedure but the ISAPS Global Survey puts liposuction at the top, representing 18.8% of all surgical procedures, followed by breast augmentation at 17%, and blepharoplasty (upper or lower eyelid lift) at 13.5%, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) at 9.4% and abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) at 7.3%, The total number of surgical procedures is projected to be 8,536,379," (2). These surgeries are to "improve" one's outer appearance, not inner.

Also my opponent assumes there are only three options to solving this Barbie fiasco, however, as a young girl the only thing I loved more than Barbie was the American Girl doll. You can choose from one of the Historical Characters or even MyAmericanGirl, which is a custom doll to look like you; there are also many other options, (3). There are many differences from these dolls and the Barbie doll but the main one I would like to focus on is the body shape. Once again stating that Barbie is the first doll presented to girls with a womanly figure.

Assuming my opponents statistics are true, just because obesity is greater than anorexia that does not mean we should ignore it. It still touches the lives of many Americans, especially for girls. I'm sure everyone on here either knows of someone who has suffered from anorexia or maybe has even suffered him or herself. It is a deadly disease, even if cured it can cause damage to many vital organs, (4).

Vote Pro.

1.http://shine.yahoo.com...
2.http://www.science20.com...
3.http://store.americangirl.com...
4.http://www.helpguide.org...
stark73

Con

Thanks for the debate
"My opponent asked for one case in which a woman aspired to be Barbie, however, there is many more. Mattel even has a "Life-Size" Barbie who stands at 3' tall, the difference between her and the average young girl at 3', is the womanly shape, curves and breasts.
"One British woman had plastic surgery done to every part of her, except her feet, in an effort to become Barbie," (1)."

This is one example of someone who actually aspires to be a barbie doll. I say the amount of people who aspire to be a beautiful movie star is way more. Furthermore, i have seen the "Adult barbie wannabe story on television. It's a one in a million occurence, out of all of the peopl she is one of the only ones who actually wants to be a "barbie" which is why she was on tv. Furthermore, she talks about a model of "life size barbie" I do not see how this is a real person, it's just a model.

"My statistics show that in life-size proportions Barbie is anorexic, but what 4 year old can even determine being that skinny is a bad thing. They do however have the ability to desire, aspire, and mimic what they see. My point of this argument is that Barbie instills this image of perfection at such a young age and these girls carry it with them for life."

Honestly, what four year old is obsessed with beauty? She says four year olds don't read tabloids or keep up with beauty gossip, I say girls who play with barbie are not developed enough to care about their self image. For example, there's no example of large amounts of four year old girls who wear makeup. Furthermore, although some four year olds "dress up" like a barbie they quickly grow up and mature.

I took a look at the "Amerian Girl" dolls and I do say that is an interesting alternative. However, there is simply no reason to intentionally go to go to these dolls when girls are barely affected by these barbie dolls which I shall prove later. To take away business from the barbie company doesn't make sense if very few people are affected. For example, pokemon causes seizures sometimes but noone bans pokemon.

I say the American Girl doll figures are just as bad because of their label, they encourage a "normal idealic" view of an "american women" so thus people would aspire to be like that as well. Furthermore, I say American Girls encourage average plain looks which some may think is good but this leads to children accepting roles as "normal people." I say barbie dolls help children aspire to be above ordinary people.

Furthermore, lets really look at the barbie doll negative influence claim. When I was four, I really loved pokemon. However, i was a christian. During that time, christians claimed pokemon encouraged "notions of evolution that contradicted biblical teachings." At that age, I was not at all influenced by this, I enjoyed pokemon and was not at all turned into some sort athiest by pokemon. So at the age where girls play with barbie, which is four to perhaps seven, the girls do not care about barbie dolls, they do not inspect its body and aspire to become it, they are simply to young to understand.

You can also extend my argument about how the "barbie look" is growing out of fashion and ridiculed anyways so it doesn't really matter because now a wider body is encouraged so now skinny barbies aren't an admired image.

"Here are some facts about plastic surgery, Barbie may not be the only cause for girls to want this look, but she is a major factor, and we can't afford to bypass a factor, which has serious consequences. "For the last ten years, the consensus has been that breast augmentation was the most popular plastic surgery procedure but the ISAPS Global Survey puts liposuction at the top, representing 18.8% of all surgical procedures, followed by breast augmentation at 17%, and blepharoplasty (upper or lower eyelid lift) at 13.5%, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) at 9.4% and abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) at 7.3%, The total number of surgical procedures is projected to be 8,536,379," (2). These surgeries are to "improve" one's outer appearance, not inner."

I just don't understand how you can link this back to barbie dolls. You give stats on plastic surgery rates, but how is this caused by barbie. Is it because barbie is plastic and this inspires people to become plastic? Plastic surgery is simply a scientific method of altering looks, it doesn't have to be related a toy which happens to be plastic as well. Are you saying most people who do plastic surgery want to become barbie? I think they just want to do it to look better, which I'm sure most women would like without the influence of a barbie doll.

I also say the "negative influence" is so miniscule it cannot be considered "negative."
For example, if I eat a burger once it wouldn't be considered "detrimental" or "negative" to my body because the effect of it is so small that I won't notice it if i only try it once.

Vote con
Debate Round No. 3
kboudreau

Pro


Once again Con, my argument is about Barbie not the media, and I did not state that is it a greater influence. “the media greatly influences girls to reach this "perfection" which is unattainable; unfortunately Barbie is there first to instill this image at a much much younger age.”

My opponent has seemed to miss my points. The fact that Barbie is technically anorexic, when young girls strive to look like her, they too would have to be anorexic. When the first slumber party Barbie came out she was accompanied with a scale permanently set to 110 pounds, along with a book titled “How to lose weight” that gave the advice “Don’t Eat”. (1)

If you go onto the Barbie website (http://www.barbie.com...) it immediately says, “Let’s get gorgeous,” and has a degrading whistle.

“Honestly, what four year old is obsessed with beauty? She says four year olds don't read tabloids or keep up with beauty gossip, I say girls who play with barbie are not developed enough to care about their self image. For example, there's no example of large amounts of four year old girls who wear makeup. Furthermore, although some four year olds "dress up" like a barbie they quickly grow up and mature.”

“Research among preschool girls found that up to 50 per cent were already anxious about how they look while a third wanted to lose weight or change their hair colour.” (2).

The girls in this study were as young as three. It’s not uncommon to idolize something “fake”; when I was younger I too wanted to be just like Barbie. I always wanted to play dress up, I had imagined my own dream home and getting married to a real life Ken, I wanted the pink convertible, and wanted a body just like Barbie. My sister and I would get matching outfits to our Life-Size Barbie’s and we would play with makeup, we would dream to be as pretty as Barbie, as skinny as Barbie, and have perfect curves just like Barbie. As a male you may not see how this is possible, but for many of us females we can closely relate.

As for the group of girls who do wear makeup on TLC there is a show called “Toddlers in Tiaras”, they resemble little Barbie dolls, fancy costumes, pretty hair, the perfect smile, perfect tan, and wear A LOT of makeup. Many episodes you see these toddlers basking in the glory of being the most beautiful girl who looks just like Barbie. (3)

BarbieinBox.jpg


Lexie unveils herself as “Barbie in a Box.”

The fact of the matter is Barbie does have a negative influence on young girls. It instills an image that will last forever. Not only do these young girls realize what the picture of “pretty” is, many want to be pretty as well.

My opponent also states the jobs it encourages girls to aspire, however, what doctor do you know that wears a mini skirt and stilettos to work? It is a false reality that Barbie is setting from the body image to the life she leads. It doesn’t show a hardworking woman it shows a glamorous and beautiful woman who leads a fairytale life.

“Researchers based at the University of Central Florida asked a group of girls aged between three and six a series of questions about their body image before showing them extracts of cartoons featuring female characters.
The idea was to assess whether stereotypically thin princess characters, even in cartoons, were making girls worry about their body even before they start school.
Almost a third (31 per cent) said that they “almost always” worried about their appearance while another 18 per cent disclosed that they sometimes did so.” (2).

Barbie is a negative influence. She encourages young girls to look, and dress a certain way. Barbie's dream house and dream car depict a false image of reality.

Vote Pro.

Sources:
1.http://www.teen-beauty-tips.com...
2.http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
3.http://thelaughingstork.com...
stark73

Con

Ok so she says that four year olds are somehow concerned with their appearance accoriding to one study f I might ask how many children? Most studies conducted can be biased simply to support their own views.I read the article it says a "group" it never specifies so we cannot rely on this source.

Second: She never gives you any other examples of a girl "aspiring to be like barbie." She uses herself as an example of a barbie wannabe, however I ask now that you are grown up do you still want to be a barbie doll? No! AS I have said, the inflence of barbie dolls is so little it can;t be considered negative. people are much more affected by the media.

"As for the group of girls who do wear makeup on TLC there is a show called "Toddlers in Tiaras", they resemble little Barbie dolls, fancy costumes, pretty hair, the perfect smile, perfect tan, and wear A LOT of makeup."

Good point, but that is a show, not reality. The toddlers get paid for this so it cannot be compared to normal aspirations of toddlers.

"My opponent also states the jobs it encourages girls to aspire, however, what doctor do you know that wears a mini skirt and stilettos to work? It is a false reality that Barbie is setting from the body image to the life she leads. It doesn't show a hardworking woman it shows a glamorous and beautiful woman who leads a fairytale life. "

The point isn't to be exactly like barbie. It is simply the IDEA of inspiring women and saying they can play any role. As for the miniskirt doctoy, true it might not be realistic, but that's not the point. The point is to never tell them they can't, that way they are motivated.

VOte con
Debate Round No. 4
kboudreau

Pro

Do Barbie dolls have a negative influence on young girls?

Yes, they do.

The first Barbie was influenced from Lilli as my opponent had stated, however, “The Lillie doll, first produced in 1955, was sold as a sex toy for men.” Barbie is like Lilli in many ways, she’s an ambitious hooker being one of them. (1). This doll wasn’t meant for children and by making that shift, negative influences have aroused.

Present day Barbie is supposed to a role model for girls, but is she doing more harm than good?

Barbie is a role model for young girls, they aspire to look and be like Barbie, however, in trying to reach these standards much harm can come about. Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, arise when trying to obtain this false image.

The sources I used in my argument have shown how Barbie is a negative influence and they are valid. I used myself as a prime example, as did my opponent with Pokemon. Even if this is not true for you I’m sure many of you know a friend or a sister who at a young age stated they wanted to be just like Barbie.

“Furthermore, she asks me how many people have plastic surgery, I actually would like to know this statistic as well, if my opponent could provide it”

I provided my opponent with numbers, which is exactly what he asked for.

“The thin beauty ideal for girls is, of course, present in many aspects of their sociocultural environment (i.e., advertising, TV, and peer groups), but dolls like Barbie—because of their iconic status—are likely to act as salient role models, at least for very young girls. Sociocultural theory provides a useful perspective for theorizing the influence of dolls (as an embodiment of the sociocultural beauty ideal) on girls’ developing body image when integrated with some underlying processes posited in devel- opmental theories concerned with social influences on children’s self-evaluation (e.g., Bandura, 1989; Ruble, 1983).”(1)

“as exemplified by thin Barbie dolls, exerts a direct influence on younger girls so that they would express a desire to be thinner as a consequence of exposure to Barbie doll stimuli. “(1)

“More than 100 girls aged between 5 and 7 looked at books while being read a story about shopping and dressing for a birthday party. Some of the books showed images of Barbie dolls, while others showed pictures lacking depictions of people. It was found that girls who were exposed to the Barbie pictures reported less body esteem and a greater desire to be thin. Researchers concluded that early exposure to unrealistic pictures of too thin body shapes may damage a girl's body image. This, in turn, leads to the increased risk of eating disorders with cycles of weight gain and loss.” (2).

Barbie does influence young girls in a negative way.

For those of you who are still in disbelief, please watch this video.




Thank you again to my opponent, and thank you to those who have taken the time to follow this debate.

I urge you to vote Pro.

1 http://www.reflectionsinthenight.com...

2. http://www.epigee.org...

stark73

Con

"The first Barbie was influenced from Lilli as my opponent had stated, however, "The Lillie doll, first produced in 1955, was sold as a sex toy for men." Barbie is like Lilli in many ways, she's an ambitious hooker being one of them. (1). This doll wasn't meant for children and by making that shift, negative influences have aroused"

What? Barbie is an amibitious hooker? REally? I never knew that? In fact, Barbie was alot of things, a pilot and a doctor, all respectable jobs, but I never saw the "hooker barbie" model on the shelf. Furthermore barbie only has one boyfriend and I've never seen her sell herself for sex. This is simply the biased interpretaition she has of the barbie dolls. Once again, different people have different perceptions, but young girls will not perceive the barbie dolls as a "hooker." The only see she is pretty and has a good job.

"Barbie is a role model for young girls, they aspire to look and be like Barbie, however, in trying to reach these standards much harm can come about. Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, arise when trying to obtain this false image. "

Once again, where in the world does my opponent provide the statistic that shows an overhwlming amount of people are greatly influenced by barbie dolls forever? She uses herself, but I say she is biased because she started this debate about how barbie dolls affect girls negatively, so therefore she must have been influenced. However, I say barbie dolls in general do not have a negative influence.

"More than 100 girls aged between 5 and 7 looked at books while being read a story about shopping and dressing for a birthday party. Some of the books showed images of Barbie dolls, while others showed pictures lacking depictions of people. It was found that girls who were exposed to the Barbie pictures reported less body esteem and a greater desire to be thin. Researchers concluded that early exposure to unrealistic pictures of too thin body shapes may damage a girl's body image. This, in turn, leads to the increased risk of eating disorders with cycles of weight gain and loss." (2).

Ok? What is the percentage of the girs exposed to the books that actually aaspired to be thinner? Furthermore, I still say being thin is natural, this is influenced by the media's portrayal in television of skinny girls.Also how much higher was the percwentage? "Higher" could just mean one percent. Also, just because maybe barbie makes people want to be skinny this doesn't mean it's a "negative influence." Anorexia is an extreme instance of skinnines, anorexia is rare and barbie dolls encourage for the most part skinnies.

"The thin beauty ideal for girls is, of course, present in many aspects of their sociocultural environment (i.e., advertising, TV, and peer groups), but dolls like Barbie—because of their iconic status—are likely to act as salient role models, at least for very young girls. Sociocultural theory provides a useful perspective for theorizing the influence of dolls (as an embodiment of the sociocultural beauty ideal) on girls' developing body image when integrated with some underlying processes posited in devel- opmental theories concerned with social influences on children's self-evaluation (e.g., Bandura, 1989; Ruble, 1983)."(1)

This evidence does not show at all what percentage of girls go through plastic surgery.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by jaydieburd 3 years ago
jaydieburd
kboudreau that is a very bad influence on little girls that is barbies anyway i HATE barbies!
Posted by kboudreau 3 years ago
kboudreau
The picture was unable to paste but for those of you interested to see what 3 year old Lexie looks like as Barbie, visit this website http://thelaughingstork.com...
Posted by Sniperjake1994 3 years ago
Sniperjake1994
i'll accept in 10 min
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Robikan 3 years ago
Robikan
kboudreaustark73Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Very close debate, but ultimately, Pro offered more fact than opinion, while Con offered mostly opinion.
Vote Placed by boredinclass 3 years ago
boredinclass
kboudreaustark73Tied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: It was close. I chose on the fact that obesity has taken more women than anorexia. And the resolution was interpreted as if it is a negative influence on most girls. Explain the resolution more next time. But you did change my mind so be pround of that.