Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Trend Towards Bobbleheaded Women

Stick with me, here.

The standard Barbie doll had a redo several years back, where her head size was increased. It was a subtle increase, but (especially to old-school Barbie collectors like me and my sister) it was noticeable.

To compare:

Bobbleheaded Barbie and Old Normal Barbie

I assume that Mattel made this alteration to follow the general "bobblehead" fad in dolls, as evidenced in Bratz, My Scene, etc.

Now I read in bnjammin's blog (referring to this LJ post) that companies are doing the same thing with reproductions of famous art.


See? The statue reproduction = bobblehead

Why has the bobblehead become our aesthetic default?

It might have something to do with the fact that even after heavy dieting, the skull remains the same size. Which is why I recommend a good headshrinker.


  1. Although it certainly has become a noticeable trend, I don't know anyone who actually finds the large head to be attractive. All my friends and I remark at how scary that Tila Tequilla girl looks, and Sarah Palin (who I normally found to be pretty fine) was on the Super Bowl pre game show. She looked like she lost some weight, but her head was just gigantic (say it like Kim Deal would say it off of Surfer Rosa ) that I was not attracted to her in the least.

    Oh well, if I've learned anything lately it's that being cool is so overrated and I'll continue to date women with proportional heads to body size.

  2. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Barbie has always maintained and emulated the current trends in perceived beauty. Venus on a Halfshell was also a representation of the times"idealized" woman.

    The "Bobble-Head-is-Beautiful" look isn't new. It's an old Indian (from India) aesthetic that still carries through in some form today, though referring to it as "Bobble-Head" is an oversimplification and likely insulting, to be sure.

  3. Which is why I recommend a good headshrinker.
    . . . Or maybe a sandwich?

    Ye gods, those "reproductions" are hideous!

    Have you seen the photos from showing the extent of photomanipulation? (I think some of the ones from are the most striking. It's somehow continually amazing to me that an emaciated woman is photographed, and then the image is manipulated not only to remove the protruding signs of malnutrition (ribs, backbone, hips) but also to nip the waist in more as thighs are smoothed out and breasts and buttocks are enhanced. I started looking out for this when I realized, flipping through magazine ads, that the fattest person in the magazine was a professional ballet dancer (who by the nature of her career's demands was most likely 10% below the ideal weight for her natural figure).

    Eating arsenic and putting lead-based makeup on our faces would be more healthy.

  4. I think Mattel definitely did it to compete with those gross Bratz dolls and I think it's a heinous look, on dolls and on humans. I have a six-year-old daughter so I'm always fighting these plastic stereotypes. Get real, people!

    Not that I have strong opinions either way :^)

  5. The "Birth of Venus" statue isn't bobbleheaded, it's emaciated.

    So Barbara Millicent Roberts' head is now more in proportion with the rest of her body. Her waist has also been widened.

    And I want me one of those "Oreo Fun Barbie" dolls!

  6. An emaciated Venus is no Venus at all.

  7. Big head, and big eyes? Its my understanding that is a attempt to make them more cute and look younger.

  8. I can't speak to the Barbie head change, but the Venus change is awful and sad. And the "real" women shown clearly have weight issues.

    I thought they had made Barbie more natural not that long ago in response to people who complained about her proportions?

  9. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Agree with Torsten and Joel: the Venus figurine isn't bobbleheaded so much as anorexic; it's been translated from one (moderately healthy) standard of beauty to another (freakish) standard. I think Andre is technically correct about the Barbie thing; the redesign was supposed to make her younger-looking (though like everything Barbie, it was exaggerated).

  10. It has nothing to do with either India or diets.

    It's simply because kids find it more apealing with dolls and figures with a large head and to some extend a small body.
    The first country to start chancing alot of their products to fit in the view of the kids was Japan, throughout almost everything they make, from dolls to cartoons you will find characters whit a little body and a massive head.
    Take Pokémon for an example, their not sexy or talking about diet? But kids loves'em.

    The reason is that a small body and a rather large head is the same proportions a real kid have, their head is gigantic if you compare their other proportions to a normal adult.

    So no conspiracys there, it's simple logic.

    But personally i find dolls like the Bratz deebly disgusting.
    Not because of their head, but their clothes and atitude.

  11. Thank you!!!

    I've been so annoyed by this growing trend!