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Debunking the Barbie Myth

One of the intangibles that can affect your health just as badly as making the wrong food choices: A poor body image. However, a long-standing contributor to this problem -- the $2 billion Barbie doll industry -- may not be the primary culprit, according to British researchers.

Despite being blamed for a wide range of social ills, scientists don't believe the Barbie doll is viewed by young girls as an icon for perfection at all. In fact, many girls in the study played with their dolls in very destructive ways, believing their Barbies to be childish, inanimate objects, certainly not objects worth mimicking.

The article argues, rightly, kids really do understand the difference between the real world and the unreal one inhabited by Ken and Barbie dolls, and that blaming a doll on a child's poor eating habits is shaky science at best.

That said, body image -- the way in which your outside appearance matches how you feel on the inside -- is certainly a hugely important part of optimizing your emotional health, as it can guide you in making the right choices. But, where do you get started?

One of the most effective tools that can help you make this transition to better health -- without the need for a drug -- is one of the simplest to learn: The Emotional Freedom Technique, the energy psychology tool I've used in my practice for more than six years.

Live Science December 30, 2005

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