How to Argue Like a Reasonable Adult

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Reader Comments (56)

The thing with Barbie is, fabric thickness does not scale down. If she wasn't insanely skinny with big boobs, then she would have no discernable figure whatsoever. Silk at human scale is tarp at Barbie scale.

The more you know . . .

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPheslaki

Ooo, silhouettes! I don't think I've seen you use them before - nicely done.

I don't suppose it should go without saying that the comic was quite funny. That was well done, too.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWilson

Panel 3 FTW!

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlexander

The problem with the fabric theory is that we now have MICROFIBER. Although Barbie's gargantuan breasts hardly qualify as micro.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterphiL

The whole Barbie shape is ridiculous. I keep wondering how that started in the first place. Why make a doll that's meant for little girls be so unrealistically endowed? I mean, I can understand why the Tomb Raider character is built like that - the idea there is to attract males, who are more likely to play video games anyway. But what's the point in doing this for a girl's toys?

Funny comic today.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKris L

Panel one, last dialog: FTW.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew from Vancouver

The real problem is that everyone BUYS Barbie. End of story. Demand change by refusing to give them money, and they'll change it. Wish for change while writing them a check and they laugh all the way to the bank. And we have so many more toys and options now than we did back when Barbie came out that it's not as though the girls of the nation will be forced to play with sticks if we follow this path.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBWM

Actually, Lara Croft looked like that in the Tomb Raider games because one of the model developers accidentally increased her bust size by 150%. His co-workers convinced him to keep it that way. xD

Awesome comic, as always, Scott.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJon

I was gearing up to make a point and then you went and made it for me in the fourth panel. Funny AND true. Good episodes of the Simpsons, btw.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEllecee

I like how you point out that no one ever complains that action figures for boys are "unrealistic". Barbie isn't really much less realistic than those blonde, blue-eyed plastic monstrosities you'll find in the next aisle over, and no one complains about them. Mocks them, sure, but complaining, not so much.

Similarly, people will complain about the level of violence in comic books and video games, but they never complain about, say, Nathan Drake setting an "unrealistic" standard for male looks and physical ability. I'm not sure if it says that people think that boys don't need protection, or that they think girls are unable to distinguish the difference between plastic figurines and reality.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJonn

My magazines have pictures of half-naked women in them, trying to sell me guns and cologne. My wife's magazines have pictures of half-naked women in them, trying to sell her perfume and weight loss products. The point is that women's role models are beautiful women, and men's role models are themselves, but with beautiful women hanging off of them.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWrench

@ Kris
The same reason male media is full of buff sweaty men. Even if something dosent "do it for you" their is a segment of wish fulfillment.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJSB

I always thought Batman was the best role model for growing boys. As I always tell my wife and friends

"What would Batman do?"

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

>I keep wondering how that started in the first place. Why make a doll that's meant for little girls be so unrealistically endowed?

Barbie is based upon Bild Lilli, a doll carried by bars and tobacconists and marketed to single men, as a gag gift. Think blow-up doll meets voodoo doll, framed by mid-century German pop culture, and you'll begin to see where it started. From Wikipedia: "Many parents considered her not appropriate for children."

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoel

The easy answer is to just make Barbie bulletproof.


July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudas Peckerwood

Agree. Barbie needs a bigger ass

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGuso

Wilson: not so. Check out 1/6 scale (play scale) "action" figures by Hot Toys or Sideshow Collectibles. There is some awesome work out there. The rule of thumb is the fabric needs to be softer, not thinner (so it drapes).

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSabine

Because boobs are awesome

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLukos

ZOMG, you're right, this debate has been going for so long!!! I remember talking about this in grade 8...The whole Unrealistic Barbie vs. Who takes her seriously anyway? But it's so true, what's the point of having a kid's toy made with such huge assets??? Kid's don't mind playing with flat-chested dolls, I'm pretty sure. But anywayz, setting the whole Barbie arguement aside, good job, I completely cracked on the last two panels xD.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPal

Actually, if they wanted to make Barbie more realistic, the dream house would have come with a bald, out of shape middle-aged guy. Barbie and Ken would have to be very careful not to be seen together by that guy.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHari

True story:

The reason Barbie looks like a well-endowed adult is because other dolls at the time when Barbie was invented were all baby dolls, and thus it was an untapped market. It was originally marketed to adults, but became popular with children who enjoyed dressing it up in outfits, something that they couldn't do anywhere nearly as well with baby dolls. The supermodel proportions were to make it look better in the different outfits - the same reason real models have such proportions.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLok

Simpsons did it!


July 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermoojen

Is it me, or does Female Co-worker's face bear a stunning resemblance to Rick?

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLayne

The barbie figure may also be unrealistic because, as many theorize, she was based on a German doll of a street walker. Lilly Gesucht.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob

I've been meaning to tell you Scott, do you mean to draw office co-worker as a tremendous -sized blow-up doll? Just sayin' ...

I said the same thing about Malibu Stacy, but Lisa Lionheart completely tanked.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLIsa Simpson

Are the office co-worker characters based on real people?

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKev

It's all about the Simpsons! =)

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRonald Redito

@Sabine: Thanks, but that wasn't me, it was Pheslaki.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWilson

I've commented on that before. In fact, I thought this was Rick, until you mentioned it and I double-checked and realized that it was her. I was assuming that Rick was having one of his inexplicably effeminate moments. Now that I think about it, maybe Rick never has those.... No, wait, Rick does poetry. Right? Hmm...

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDrowlord

Simpsons did it!

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZero

The designer of the original Barbie and Ken dolls was a woman who had two children - a girl named Barbie and a boy named Ken (probably why nobody thinks the two of them would date) The dolls were her idealised images of her children in late adolescence. The manufacturer soon changed Barbie's dimensions (if you scaled her up by height to adult size, she'd have ordinary sized breasts on the ribcage of a four-year-old, a waistline that could fit in three-year-olds' clothes, and her feet would be proportional for an eight-year-old. Not much later, they changed her brown hair to blond.
Amusingly, Barbie didn't sell well in Japan until they scaled down her breasts and changed her hair and eyes to brown, making her much like the original design.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Barbie is a dream. You get enough plastic surgery and body modification (tightlacing corsets, huge implants, various facial augmentation, lengthening legs over a period of what, a decade or so) and work out like a mofo, you can look like Barbie. Attainable, but extremely expensive and it would probably take about 20 years.

If you have the height, the maleness, the attractive face, and work out like a mofo, you can look like Superman or Nick Drake. Much more attainable.

I'm fine with the working out like a mofo part (though I don't do it on account of liking to not be in pain 80% of the time), but every woman I have ever seen who deliberately had surgery to look like Barbie ended up looking, er...well, just awful, frankly. Barbie's a stylized model of beauty, sure. But I had two Barbies as a kid. I'm 5'6", a Bcup, and brunette. I hated Barbie because she didn't look like me (Barbie died many miserable deaths). Also, I thought she looked like a hooker. A really, really cheap one.

There's also the Bratz dolls. Hopefully, no little girls are convinced that Angelina Jolie lips combined with droopy "I'm so high" eyes and Junior Lapdancer wear are the shiznit. On the other hand, little girls like Hannah Montana.

It's weird how little girls tend to like the same things that 60 year old pervs also like; you know, dressing all skanky and oversexing themselves. Weird and a little icky.

But more importantly: I love this comic so very much because it made me laugh. Like a mofo. I just really like that word today.


July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary

"Ruth Handler watched her daughter Barbara at play with paper dolls, and noticed that she often enjoyed giving them adult roles. At the time, most children's toy dolls were representations of infants. Realizing that there could be a gap in the market, Handler suggested the idea of an adult-bodied doll to her husband Elliot, a co-founder of the Mattel toy company. He was unenthusiastic about the idea, as were Mattel's directors.

During a trip to Europe in 1956 with her children Barbara and Kenneth, Ruth Handler came across a German toy doll called Bild Lilli. The adult-figured doll was exactly what Handler had in mind, so she purchased three of them. She gave one to her daughter and took the others back to Mattel. The Lilli doll was based on a popular character appearing in a comic strip drawn by Reinhard Beuthin for the newspaper Die Bild-Zeitung. Lilli was a working girl [not a prostitute] who knew what she wanted and was not above using men to get it. The Lilli doll was first sold in Germany in 1955, and although it was initially sold to adults, it became popular with children who enjoyed dressing her up in outfits that were available separately.

Ruth Handler believed that it was important for Barbie to have an adult appearance, and early market research showed that some parents were unhappy about the doll's chest, which had distinct breasts. Barbie's appearance has been changed many times, most notably in 1971 when the doll's eyes were adjusted to look forwards rather than having the demure sideways glance of the original model."

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSheherazahde

lok, Real fashion models don't have boobs.

They can't because if they did, the fabric would "hang" the way all designers intend it to. Having models clothes can "hang" from is just as important to designers as having tall and borderline anorexic models.

Clothing always looks better on taller, skinny bodies with smaller chests, and as little curvature as possible. Curvy bodies would be completely impractical for showing off clothing, even with a minuscule waist (which just makes them curvier), and not only because they're distractive.

P.S. Victoria's Secret models are the exception to this.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNavi

Mary, Barbie's body is NOT attainable.

- Her neck being to long and thin to support her head.

- Someone with a chest that large couldn't support it on a waist that small.

- She would also lack 17%-20% of her recommended bodyfat making her unable to menstrate (making her infertile), and anorexic (putting her on her death bed, let alone making it impossible for her to "work out")

Her legs are also proportionally impossible for humans, even with surgery (which doesn't exist). Here are 2 comparison pictures to prove it:

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNavi

firstly, scott, have you seen this?
secondly, barbie has a waistline that fits into 3yos clothes? so does kate moss. according to her agent's website she has a 23 inch waist, same as my 3yo who has a healthy bmi. to look like kate, my daughter would have to grow 2.5 feet while still fitting into her elmo pyjamas.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwhiterabbit11

Lol, I remember that Simpsons episode.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCylonDorado

"is Barbie Bullet-proof?"

Best part IMO...

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterN

Maybe Barbie should be fat and ill-kempt so that children can relate to her. Also, no more careers that require a degree.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjoeythethrifty

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