Plus-Size Barbie Photos Spark Body Image Debate, Criticism

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Plus-size models and modeling have gained a lot of traction in 2013, as they a purpose beyond marketing plus-size clothing to a growing market.

They also provide women with a more diverse range of bodies to look up to, which potentially improves self-confidence, body image and social norms.

So if we have plus-size models ... should plus-size Barbies be next? That's the question posed recently by Plus-Size-Modeling (dot) com on Facebook ...

Plus-Size Barbie Pic

The illustration of a plus-size Barbie doll actually comes from a contest on, a site where artists compete in daily creative competitions.

The image, created by artist bakalia, won a contest called "Feeding Time 9."

But when re-posted last week by Plus-Size-Modeling (dot) com, the depiction of Barbie with a double chin and a curvier physique sparked debate.

Over 35,000 people have "liked" it, but many criticize it, asking whether society should be praising being overweight any more than being too skinny.

Maria Kang has yet to weigh in ... but we know where she stands.

"No one is naturally fat for gods sake, that's sending the wrong message to girls that it's ok to look like this and be unhealthy..." said one commenter.

Another noted, "Imo this is horrible. Maybe make her a little fuller, but in no way promote obesity. Triple chins?? Really?? Im a curvy girl, but come on this is ridiculous."

Barbie Plus-Size Pic

The debate mirrors one waged in the fashion world when Curvy Girl lingerie kicked off a campaign to share images of "regular" women in their underwear.

Because several of those models were overweight, the campaign was criticized for allegedly encouraging unhealthy habits and promoting obesity.

There were also those who wondered aloud where the "average" size bodies are. In other words, bodies that are neither "plus-size" nor a size 0.

As one commenter noted beneath the Barbie image on Plus-Size-Modeling, "Wish there was an 'average' Barbie. Not skinny, not obese. Normal."

On that note, artist Nickolay Lamm recently created a 3-D model of an "average" Barbie-like doll, based on CDC estimates of an average 19-year-old.

"If we criticize skinny models, we should at least be open to the possibility that Barbie may negatively influence young girls as well," Lamm said.

Check out that artist's rendering of "normal Barbie" below, as well as another conceptualization of Barbie without makeup ... she's really a hot topic!

Normal Barbie Pics
Normal Barbie Photos
Barbie With No Makeup
Barbie Photo
Barbie Without Makeup
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