How to Argue Like a Reasonable Adult

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Reader Comments (56)

There's a simple reason children's toys aren't realistic: they are toys for fantasy playing, not tools for accurate real-world analytics. Children, before we beat all traces of imagination out of them, apparently comprehend this better than adults (as evidenced by every kid who only had half the Star Wars figures and had to use GI Joe to stand in for Han and was fully able to take down the Empire).

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArtie

I don't think I ever commented before, but I want to say I love this comic and I recommend it to all of my friends. :)

I find it funny that the women who hate Barbie the most are the ones who are furthest from her proportions. XD I've never understood why so many parents can't seem to teach their kids that fantasy and reality or not the same. I liked Barbie because she was pretty (I say WAS because the new Barbie is a plain Jane) and I never had a problem thinking "she's only a doll."

And for the curious: 32D - 25" - 36", only 5'2.5" though, small frame and fine features. :P From the ranters I can tell a doll based on me would cause some major hate. XD

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

To be fair, Superman was a comic book superhero. Barbie was a toy doll. She isn't expected to be bulletproof.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Um, I don't know if you've seen any of the new Barbie dolls lately, but they have given her a more "realistic" figure. She now has a body more similar to a 12-year-old's. I also must say that I never gave any thought to the dolls' proportions until long after I'd grown out of playing with them xD

Mothers these days just worry about really silly things. Superman is clearly a far more unrealistic (and "unhealthy") role-model!

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersaintpink


Don't forget a woman would need to have multiple ribs removed as well.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoboSnake

I have a bigger problem with Superman than Barbie, but I'm a guy so I guess that figures. To me, though, the problem comes from their associated points of comparison. Everything in Barbie's world is perfect and amazing and all that, but not so with Superman:

The thing about Superman that's always bugged me is they make him out to be a perfect person because he's big and strong and handsome and tall, while the brilliant but unattractive Lex Luthor is evil. In fact, most of Superman's enemies seem to be genius inventors or scientists. They started a pattern of associating looks and athleticism with being "good" and intelligence and creativity with being "bad" that still persists today in a great portion of male culture.

Barbie sets unrealistic standards for what girls "should" be, but she doesn't actively tell you that being smart or creative or different makes you an evil person. Superman does, though, by demonstrating not only what boys "should" be but also what they "shouldn't" be.

Anyway, as per usual this was a funny comic that also provided some food for thought. Thanks Scott :)

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

just stumbled these comics! amazing!!

as for barbie, her figure has changed over the years to become more obtainable, and she's still a much better role model than other dolls on the market, like these "bratz" dolls. bratz can only dress like sluts, shop, and do each other's makeup. barbie can do whatever she wants whether it's teaching or going to the moon or becoming president.

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey

Who the hell wants to play with an ugly toy?

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeebus

Barbie needs to up her game.

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThusemeh

Addressing Patrick. What about Superman's enemy Bizzaro? His defining characteristics are being stupid and being the opposite of Superman. And Superman is an alien who uses technology well beyond that of humans, he even invented robot replicas of himself. Its under comics in this link

July 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGregory Bogosian

Realistically though, this isn't some coldblooded marketing campaign to make children grow up goofy, look at the very first carvings of the human figure - nothing but breasts and hips, the one I'm thinking of didn't even have a head...

Girls want to play with little Übertrollops for the same reason boys want muscle bound murderer toys, it's hardwired to the survival instinct. (Best breeding stock, best hunter/gatherer)

Still funny as all get out, but c'mon with the PC angle :P

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrhesusmonkey

Long time fan, rarely post. Have read almost every comic and I truly do not understand why you are not in my St. Pete Times, FL Sunday Comics?

Regardless, this one, CLASSIC! Sometimes your humor creeps up on me and I almost shoot liquid out my nose.

You've found a simple yet logical and intelligent framework to show us how pointless our debates are.

Summary: You are the Steven Colbert of comics.

September 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRR

While I agree that an important problem with Barbie is that she's silly and superficial, there are distinct differences between superman and Barbie. A man can approach superman's figure by working out. A woman can approach Barbie's figure by having surgery. Also while superman's powers/disproportions were given to him by some sort of... science-y ill-explained cause, Barbie's disproportions are not mentioned, and her size is played off as normal. Superman's size is part of his uniqueness and helps him save the world. Barbie's size, while integral to her superficiality, is not necessary to her overall. She could still be silly and superficial in a more realistic body, but people might be less patient with her acting like a retard, and expect something more out of her (which might be nice; if I remember her personality correctly, Barbie largely focused on pretty things, gifts, and special events).

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I get that barbie has an unrealistic body, but I played with my barbies all the time with my friends when I was younger, and not once did any of us say, "I hope when I grow up that I'm just as skinny with huge boobs like barbie!". I mean, I didn't even think about stuff like that when I was that age. It's parents that are freaked out about it; I think barbies are completely harmless.

Funny comic nonetheless, though :P.

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSammy

Barbie's proportions:

Bust: 36C
Height: 5'6''
Weight: 110
Waist: 18
Hips: 34

We did an experiment in my statistics class about this...basically, Barbie is in the 0.003 percentile. Which means that on a scale of one to ten, if anorexics were a 2, models were a 4, normal people were 5-6, and you'd be dead of starvation at 0, Barbie would be about a negative 3. She COULD exist...but as a corpse.

And the problem isn't just that she's "too pretty" (and has the kind of blonde hair that brunettes think blondes have--no natural blonde has hair that's fewer than five different colors at once, that's just the way the hair lightens and darkens over time). Mattel keeps screwing up. For example, we know her weight because of a bathroom scale included in a slumber party playset--a sticker saying "110" was stuck onto the top of the scale. And then there was oreo Barbie--who was black. And then there are their attempts to make Asian, Hispanic, and black women into changing their skin color and hair color only. And inaccurately at that.

Then there was pregnant barbie...sans husband or wedding ring. That pretty much sums it up.

What ticks me off about Barbies though is that they fit right into the airbrushing and photoshopping business that we're always surrounded with. Real people don't look like Victoria's Secret models--they look like American Apparel models. Realistic beauty is more Emma Stone and less Pamela Anderson. But realistic beauty IS beautiful, and we all know people that we think are gorgeous. So why should we bother getting hung up on the fake version when the real one is just as good?

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCRH

Yeah, unrealistic role models.

December 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMoistRobot
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