We tested the impact of exposure to dolls of different body types and wardrobes on girls' body dissatisfaction. In Study 1, 112 girls (6 to 8 years old) were randomized to one of four conditions: thin (Barbie™) or full-figured (Tracy™) dolls dressed in a swimsuit or modest clothing. In Study 2, a different cohort of girls (n = 112) was exposed to one of four conditions containing unfamiliar dolls of different body size (thin vs. full-figured) and dress (modest vs. swimsuit). In both studies, girls who played with thin dolls experienced higher body size discrepancies than girls who played with full-figured dolls. Girls who played with full-figured dolls showed less body dissatisfaction after doll exposure compared to girls who played with thin dolls. Playing with unrealistically thin dolls may encourage motivation for a thinner shape in young girls.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology