Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Melanie Laliker

Degree Award Date

Spring 2008


Barbie, Barbie doll, Negative Body Image, Young Girls, interviews, negative verbal messages, media exposure


Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Psychology | Social Psychology


The ubiquitous Barbie doll was examined in the present study as a possible cause for the development of negative body image among young girls. A total of 10 female girls, aged 8 to 12, participated in an interview concerning their exposure to, their uses of and their attitude towards Barbie, as well as body image. The themes present in the participant's interviews indicated that, for these girls, it is not exposure to Barbie as a child per se that impacts their understanding of body image, but the exposure to negative verbal messages from mothers about their daughters' bodies, as well as their own bodies. Findings also suggested that, for these girls, exposure to media contributes to negative body image among young girls.