Should Yoga Exercises Teach Us How To Bend It Like — Barbie?

I was looking for some article on yoga exercises, but I thought I’d write about this item just to see what happens. When I ran across this article by author Brandi over at Diets in, I wondered whether such a fuss over a child’s toy was really warranted. Now, I’m pretty concerned about childhood obesity. Being a doctor and all, and having kids of my own, I’m very disturbed by the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country. So a toy that, I grant you, is highly stereotyped, but could plant a positive seed in a child’s mind and decrease their likelihood of being sedentary in the future — is that really so bad? On the other hand, does such an unnaturally stereotyped female shape plant a different, possibly unhealthy body image in another child’s mind and form the basis of a future problem relationship with food and exercise? Which is right? I really can’t say. It’s just a toy.

Should Yoga Exercises Teach Us How To Bend It Like — Barbie?

Does controversy exist on its own or do we wait until the media tells us that we need to get hot and bothered about something?


Either way, the latest catalyst for consumer outrage is the new Yoga Teacher Barbie. She’s part of an exclusive line of Barbies in the “I Can Be…” series from Mattel and you can only find her in Target stores. The series isn’t new. Back in 2010, the brand ran an online voting competition to choose two Barbies for the series. The winners were a news anchor and computer engineer. The whole idea, according to

yoga exercises

Yoga exercises promote health and strength with unity and balance. Photo by Jupiterimages c/o Photos.Com., is to “ignite a national movement to inspire girls.” Who wouldn’t want to get on board with that?


Apparently it takes a twisty-legged, spandex-dressed doll to stir up a little unnecessary controversy. Just in time for the election year and the Olympics, the “I Can Be” series also includes a president and a tennis player, track star, swimmer, and gymnast. But it’s the yoga teacher that’s got people bent out of shape.


Chelsea Roff at said “Kids are being exposed to yoga at an early age, encouraged to stay active, and taught about mind-body awareness practices before they even hit kindergarten. All good things! But something about seeing that sickly-proportioned doll’s foot behind her head just makes me cringe. As if the stereotypes of yoga weren’t bad enough already, now kids are implicitly being taught that yoga teachers look like a big-headed Pam Anderson.”

You can read the entire article here at

Getting our children involved with all of the many yoga exercises and meditation practices available should be easy. The curious fact that a child’s toy has become such a lightning rod for this much debate on the subject of body stereotypes just goes to show how intense emotions have become around this subject. We as parents can set good examples for our children by being active and practicing good yet sensible nutrition. This should more than offset any negative stereotypes they might encounter. So please, everybody — just chill.

What do you think? I’m almost afraid to ask. Why not leave a comment below and weigh in on the subject. Go ahead and click the like button and share it with a friend, too.

The word yoga comes from Sanskrit, the language of ancient India. It means union, integration, or wholeness. It is an approach to health that promotes the harmonious collaboration of the human being’s three components: body, mind, and spirit.

                                                                                                   —  Stella Weller

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