Living Doll

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Posted by HSG on May 16, 2005 at 06:20:10:

In Reply to: Class project -- ''full-figured Barbie'' posted by Emily on May 15, 2005 at 04:12:14:

Indeed, we earnestly hope that educators do assign projects that foster a spirit of body love--even in subjects that don't immediately lend themselves to such discussions.

In this specific case, it is also possible that the teacher allowed her class to choose their own marketing projects, and if so, then the idea of promoting a full-figured Barbie doll could have been the initiative of one of the students. This kind of initiative deserves applause as well. Sheniqua (a.k.a. Nikki) Gomez recently told us how she turned an assignment in her public-speaking class into an opportunity to proselytize on behalf of size celebration. We hope that more teachers and students will do likewise.

As for a full-figured Barbie, it is a shame that Degrassi never marketed a line of dolls based on the show's characters. A Christina Schmidt/Terri doll would have been perfect. It would have targeted the right age group, and the doll's "personality" would have been familiar from the series.

Marketing a plus-size doll range without any celebrity tie-ins would also be possible, but it would be a challenge. Those dolls that are so controversial right now ("Bratz"?) became popular by virtue of their own (dubious) merits, not via a TV series.

In order to succeed, a plus-size doll line would have to be visually appealing, would need to exhibit professional quality in its look and finish, and would probably need to consist of a group rather than a single personality. The dolls could either be based on actual plus-size models, or on their representative types. For example, there could be a Barbara Brickner-type for a brunette, a Shannon Marie-type for a blonde, and perhaps Torrid's "Snow White" for a raven-haired beauty. And for the redhead of the group, the obvious choice would be the Body Shop's gorgeous 1997 creation named "Ruby" (a computer-generated mockup, seen below, which was what initiated the whole idea of a plus-size Barbie in the first place).

"Ruby" by The Body Shop, from an ad in Mode, Winter 1997. The complete caption read, "There are three billion women who don't look like supermodels, and only eight who do."

And this doll clearly represents one of the select eight. :)

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