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Ask Dr Miriam.

Byline: DR MIRIAM STOPPARD

Q My little girl loves her Barbie dolls and plays with them all the time but I've heard that they can be a dangerous influence on girls growing up. What do you think?

A I know Barbie dolls are popular, but with their ridiculously glamorous looks and absurd figures Barbie is being accused of negatively affecting girls' body image.

As if this wasn't serious enough, Barbie can also affect their ambitions. US scientists did an experiment on 37 girls aged four to seven and gave them one of three dolls to play with.

The first was a fashion Barbie in a tight dress, the second a doctor Barbie wearing a lab coat and low heels, and thirdly a Mrs Potato Head.

They were then shown pictures of different professions and were asked: "Could you do this job when you grow up?"

The girls who played with Mrs Potato Head thought they could do more of the male and female jobs than the girls who played with Barbies, regardless of whether they played with the fashion Barbie or the doctor Barbie.
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2014
Words:184
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