Life-Size Mutant Freak Barbie Meant to Bring Awareness to Eating Disorders

Filed under: In The News, Media, Toys, Nutrition: Teens


Introducing ... Mutant Freak Barbie!

Gasp as everyone's favorite 12-inch fashion doll stars in a brand new, big-as-life adventure where she scares the (bleep) out of everyone with her hideous proportions!

What happened? Did she build her dream house too close to a radioactive waste dump?

No, this the work of Hamilton College student Galia Slayen, She wondered what Barbie would look like if she were the height of an ordinary person, so she built a life-size Barbie.

The result is scary.

At 5-foot-9 and 110 pounds, she would have pencil-thin legs and a tiny waist to match, topped with breasts that would make it darn-near impossible for her to stand upright. She would also have a body mass index of 16.24. (Think the Crypt Keeper.)

"She likely would not menstruate," Slayen writes in the Huffington Post. "She'd have to walk on all fours due to her proportions."

CBS News reports Slayen built her life-size Barbie as a part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week at her high school, later bringing her to Hamilton College for this year's event during the last week of February. She and Barbie appeared on "Today"on earlier this week.

Slayen got the idea of creating a life-size Barbie after battling an eating disorder, and says she wanted to show people how Barbie presents girls with an unrealistic ideal of beauty and fitness.

She tells CBS News she based her numbers on the book "Body Wars" by Dr. Margo Maine, and admits her creation's head, hands and some other features are not to scale.

"The goal of Barbie is to get just get people's attention," Slayen tells the network. "Eating disorders are very prevalent and not talked about. It's sensationalized in the media every time a star loses weight, but this is a very internal struggle."

Slayen battled an eating disorder when she was a teenager in Portland, Ore., saying her disorder caused so much tension in her family that she that she obtained legal separation from her parents.

"I was living on my own and trying to figure out how I was going to survive," she tells CBS News. "My life was completely out of control, and it was the one thing I was able to control -- the hours at the gym, the calories I was in-taking. It's a means to control your life."

Marisa Sherry, a registered dietitian in New York who specializes in eating disorders, tells CBS News she's proud of Slayen.

"This is a young woman who has fought through this disorder and now has a voice to fight for other women," she tells the network.

Slayen's life-size Barbie teaches a lesson people need to heed, she adds.

"A BMI of under 17 is considered underweight or anorexic," she tells CBS. "That puts you at high risk for negative side effects like osteoporosis, amenorrhea (not being able to menstruate) and low heart rate."

Slayen tells the network she has nothing against Barbie and her friends. She just wants to make a point and, hopefully, spark discussion.

"There are so many misconceptions," she tells CBS. "Eating disorders are are not a choice. They are not a thing of vanity. They are disease and they are really serious."

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