Dolls and action figures are a main part of childhood. At a young age, I, was obsessed with dolls. I had every type of barbie you could imagine, with every outfit and shoe to match. Innocent, at the time, the exposure to dolls had a subconscious impact on my perception of body image. Surrounded by stick thin dolls, I unconsciously compared myself to these images, longing for a smaller, more “normal” frame. Dolls and action figures are always going to be a popular toy. Why not? They help develop the imagination, while decreasing screen time.
Instead of eliminating these essentials of growing up, it’s important to challenge society and it’s unrealistic expectations. In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDAW), the NIU Recreational and Wellness Center is doing just that by featuring doll like expectations in life size form. The overall, goal of this display is to help increase awareness and bring to light the unrealistic projection of perfection that society places upon us.
Overall, it’s important to recognize that unhealthy body images are all around us. Even in children’s toys, we must be vigilant and help spread awareness that every size is created equally. Not one body type is superior to another.
Do you part in altering the culture and visit NIU Recreation and Wellness. Take a picture with these mannequins and post them with the hashtag #NEDAW or #altertheculture. It only takes one person to start the change.
Also, join us at NIU’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Fair that takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., February 27th, at New Hall.