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Plus-Size Barbie Sparks Online Debate Over Body Image

ABC News' Michael Orr:

Should toymakers abandon Barbie's pencil-thin physique for a double chin?

That question, posted to Plus Size Modeling.com's Facebook page, has created a social media firestorm with people weighing in on female body image.

The photo of a fuller Barbie with the words "Should toy companies start making Plus Sized Barbie dolls?" was posted to Plus-Size-Models' Facebook page earlier this month now has over 40,000 likes, but not everyone is a fan.

"Imo this is horrible," wrote one Facebook commenter. "Maybe make her a little fuller, but in no way promote obesity. Triple chins?? Really?? I'm a curvy girl, but come on this is ridiculous."

And the debate spilled over to Twitter.

This whole plus-size Barbie thing is utterly ridiculous. Since apparently we're encouraging obesity, lets also come out with diabetes Barbie.

- Steena Hymes (@Steena_Trinity) December 30, 2013

Barbie is a role model for young girls. Creating a #PlusSizeBarbie allows them to think obesity is acceptable when it's a growing problem.

- Morgan Arnold (@_Morgan_E) December 30, 2013

Others think it's time for a change.

I don't know why everyone is making a deal big about plus size Barbie I kinda like the idea, makes me feel like I could be Barbie - Alexis Wombles (@AlexisOlivia45) December 30, 2013

We need a #plussizebarbie. A persons shape does not change his/her heart.

- Kara Horan (@horanmcnuggets) December 30, 2013

The plus-size rendering of the doll was a submission for Worth 1000's "Feeding Time 9? competition, where artists digitally alter celebrities to make them larger. The photo, submitted by a user named bakalia , took first place in 2011 beating out works including a photoshopped obese Lindsay Lohan dubbed "Chubby Lindsay" and "Jennifat," depicting a larger Jennifer Aniston.

This isn't the first time Barbie's gotten a virtual makeover. In June, artist Nickolay Lamm created "Normal Barbie" based off measurements of the average 19-year-old girl.

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