Designer Louboutin Says Barbie's Arches Are Too Fat

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True, New In Pop Culture

Credit: Joseph Kaczmareka, AP

Shoe designer Christian Louboutin is giving Barbie a makeover, an honor bestowed on other fashionistas in the past. But it seems that Barbie has fat ankles. Or arches. Or something.

All heck broke loose this week when Women's Wear Daily reported that a Louboutin spokesperson said that the French designer "found [Barbie's] ankles were too fat." In other words, Barbie has cankles.

Yes. Cankles. On a doll.

Then "Louboutin's people" backtracked, saying that it was Barbie's arches, not her ankles, that were too large, according to the New York Daily News.

Whatever he meant, we think it's safe to say that Barbie is many things, and none of them is fat.The issue appears to be the doll's ability to wear a toy version of Louboutin's signature stiletto heels, which in real life are five-inches high with signature red soles. But no matter what the context, the dopey designer wants part of Barbie to be thinner.

Writing in the New York Daily News, Joanna Molloy says that this issue is bigger than Barbie's 13-inch height. Molloy reminds us about Karl Lagerfeld's recent statement that "No one wants to see round women," and the bizarre photo manipulation of a Ralph Lauren model that was uncovered by the blog BoingBoing.net. Molloy also quotes a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which "reported that 25% of girls in American high schools and 11% of boys" had eating disorders, and a study by the Mayo Clinic which "found anorexia is spreading to...patients as young as 4." A 4-year-old anorexic? Yeah, that's pretty bad.

How young people perceive beauty is indeed something we need to be aware of, and it's unclear how anyone could look at a Barbie doll and say she needs to lose some weight. Then again, some of us don't understand why anyone would want to walk around wearing $2,000 boots that look like they need to be applied to the legs like Spackle. Or, more to the point, why anyone would give so much attention to what the designer of those boots has to say.

What do you think? Is what Louboutin said about Barbie being chunky unfair? Does this send the wrong message to young girls about what constitutes beauty? Or should we just ignore fashion designers when they talk?

Related: Black Barbie, But Why The Long Hair?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.