Ultra Thin Dolls Create Thin Ideals
Playing with ultra-thin dolls by young girls as young as 5 years old can have an impact on the perception regarding ideal body size, according to new research by Newcastle University. Dolls combined with exposure to ‘thin ideals’ in films, on TV and social media could lead to body dissatisfaction in young girls, which may also lead to eating disorders. A study was conducted among 5-9-year-olds with an ultra-thin doll, a realistic childlike doll or a car. Before and after each play session, the girls were asked about their perceived own body size and ideal body size via an interactive computer test using pictures. Playing with the ultra-thin dolls reduced girls’ ideal body size in the immediate aftermath of play and there was no improvement even when they subsequently played with the childlike dolls or cars afterwards, showing that the effects cannot be immediately counteracted with other toys.