Blast from the Past — My Daughter the Barbie

I read an article the other day, and it did nothing more than break my heart for this little girl.  Here she is, just a baby really, and she has no one telling her how she was fearfully and wonderfully made.  She has no one telling her that she’s beautiful.  It’s literally heartbreaking to me as a parent and as a female.  This girl is not much older than my son.  I can’t imagine him even knowing what plastic surgery is or about some of the other things discussed in this article – much less practicing them.

This 7 year old girl not only has been given vouchers (by her mom) for breast augmentation (after she’s 16 when it’s legal) and liposuction, but  her mom also taught her to pole dance last year!  Her older sisters have already had plastic surgery, and the mom has given herself the name “The Human Barbie” because of all of the work she’s had done.  This 7 year old apparently asks constantly for the things these vouchers are good for.  How does she even know about this stuff?

To Parents

I know I usually talk more to the girls, but sometimes we as parents need our eyes to be opened to some of the things we do and say that can negatively affect our kids without us even realizing it.  Did you know research shows that girls used to start worrying about self-image on average around age 9?  Now they say they’re finding more preschoolers and kindergarteners who are concerned about body image.  Did you also know that the low self-image usually begins from things girls hear from their parents?

If you are a parent, I bet you might be thinking you haven’t done or said anything to make your daughter question her self-image.  My husband and I thought the same thing, but we quickly realized there were a few things that we had unknowingly done that could plant seeds of low self-image in both of our children.

Take a peek at some things that could be happening in your home without you even realizing it.  Do you ever:

  • Look in the mirror and say, “My nose is too big.  I wish I was taller.  I wish my eyes were blue” or anything along those lines about yourself? 
    • Now look at it from your daughter’s perspective.  What happens when someone tells her she has your nose?  She heard you saying your nose is too big, so that means her nose is too big.  Her eyes aren’t blue.  Does that mean something’s wrong with her?
  • Joke with your husband that he has funny ears (or something along those lines)? 
    • Again, what happens when your daughter (or son) hears that she (or he) has Daddy’s ears?
  • Talk about how you need to lose weight, say you’re fat, or constantly stand on the scale? 
    • Your daughter is watching.  Do you want her to think that way?  (This doesn’t mean you can’t work to improve your health, but be aware of listening ears and eyes that take everything in)She looks at you and sees something beautiful, and when you do these things, you’re making her question what beautiful looks like –seriously this came straight from God and just spoke directly to me like a bolt of lightning!
    • for that matter, what about your son?  He, too, thinks you are the most beautiful woman in the world.  If you criticize yourself, his view of beauty begins to become skewed.  What will that do to his future wife?
  • Talk to other people about your kids saying things like, “She’s just like me and not good at math”? 
    • Now she can write off math because you said she’s not good at it.  In her mind there’s no need to try to improve because you never improved, therefore she is not capable of it.
  • Dye your hair? 
    • I know this sounds petty, but depending on the sensitivity of your child, she could be looking at your natural color (which just happens to be the same as hers) and see that you don’t think it’s pretty enough–meaning she’s not pretty enough. 
  • Diet constantly? 
    • This goes back to the weight point above.  Do you want her to already start thinking that way?  Instead of dieting (which is not effective), teach your children and yourself to eat healthy, balanced meals and not feel guilty for splurging on occasion.

I could go on, but I think you probably get the idea.  My husband and I realized we did several of these things without thinking about the impact it could potentially have on our kids.  It’s difficult for your daughter to hear (and believe) how beautiful she is and how she was fearfully and wonderfully made right after she heard you saying your nose was too big.  She remembers that Grandma told her just the other day that she has your nose.

Think through conversations you’ve had with your spouse even at times when you’re just joking around.  Think through things you’ve said about yourself with little ears around.  The battle of body-image and self-worth begins at home.  Build that firm foundation before sending them out into a world saturated with unattainable images.

Your words should be uplifting and encouraging in every possible way.  There might possibly be little things said that meant nothing to you but could mean everything to your babies.

Back to the Article

This mom’s reason for giving her 7 year old daughter these types of gifts for Christmas and her birthday is that it’s comparable to saving for college.  In her words, “I see these vouchers as investing in her future, like saving money for her education.” 

She doesn’t at all see it as telling her daughter she’s going to grow up not being pretty enough.  To add to it, she has placed all importance on outward appearance, which is absolutely detrimental to any young girl.  “I’m just supporting her and making her dreams come true. Looks are a big part of how our futures pan out – there shouldn’t be a stigma around wanting to look good.”   This girl can’t have breast augmentation until after 16.  Does that mean she will go through the next 10 years feeling inadequate?

To the Girls

Please don’t allow yourself to fall into this completely unhealthy way of thinking.  You are worth far too much to place all of your value on your outward appearance.  You are worth far too much to think your outward appearance isn’t adequate. 

I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again.  You are absolutely beautiful.  You were fearfully and wonderfully created by the creator of EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL.  Don’t question what he chose for you.  I promise you that he didn’t mess up, and I promise you that the boy he has in mind for you will see the beauty he created with no changes necessary.

I would really love to hear your thoughts about this article.  Click below to read, and come back here to tell me your thoughts.  Feel free to comment on the things I’ve said above whether you agree or disagree.

Article  The Human Barbie

Related links I found helpful:
Too Fat to be a Princess?

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One thought on “Blast from the Past — My Daughter the Barbie

  1. Well said, Misty. I saw this story and the actual interview and could not believe the inevitable psychological damage to this young girl. My girls are now teenagers, and I continue to pray that they love who they know that beauty is on the inside and that God created them just how they were supposed to be. I see elementary students with makeup and revealing clothes and am saddened by their lost childhood and the message that worldly beauty is necessary. I have a nephew named Jeremiah. The doctors have gone back and forth on diagnosing him with Autism, Asperger Syndrome and a deficiency in his pain receptors. People around him openly discuss how something is wrong with him, and while he is young, I know from experience that you can pick up emotional vibes and understand that your parents are somehow looking for something different in you. I, too, am guilty of looking at the mirror and seeing something I don’t like. I’ve asked my husband if I thinks I’m pretty. He tells me, “You’re beautiful. I love you from the inside out.” I have to remind myself that God loves us just the way we are. God made us just how we are supposed to be.

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