health

You'll think this picture is anorexia 'thinspo'.... but it's not.

An image tagged #thinspo (left) and one of the Winx Club dolls (right).

WARNING: This post deals with eating disorders and “thinspiration”, and may be triggering for some people. 

Take a look at the image on the far left. Then look closely at the one to its right. Short skirts, small waists, and thin — painfully, unhealthily, dangerously thin — female legs… The two images are pretty similar, aren’t they?

But there’s a difference between the two, and it’s an important one: The image on the left is a “thinspiration” image circulated on social media to glorify the thin ideal and is often used as motivation for eating disorder sufferers.

And the other? The image on the right, which is almost identical to this anorexia porn? Oh, that’s a fairy toy being marketed to 5 and 6-year-old Australian girls, being sold in toy shops around the country right now.

And, understandably, parents aren’t happy about the messages these starved-looking dolls are sending to little girls.

Sydney father Mark Chenery has launched a campaign, along with women-focused campaigning organisation Fair Agenda, calling for Myer to remove the Winx Club dolls from its shelves,  the Daily Telegraph reports.

A Winx Club doll being sold on the Myer website.

“(W)hile shopping at Myer I came across a Winx Club doll with legs so skinny they looked like they might snap. The image on the side of the box portrayed the doll in a seductive pose – as if she was pole dancing,” Chenery said on the petition website.

“It’s hard enough trying to protect my four-year old daughter against the barrage of photo-shopped advertising she sees on billboards and the sides of buses, without underweight and over sexualised toys being marketed directly at her, in doll form,” she said.

Chenery, who has a four-year-old daughter, presented a petition with 1315 signatures to staff at the department store in Sydney yesterday.

“As a parent, I know how easily children can be swayed by peer pressure and messages of what is normal or cool,” he said. “When toys portray women’s bodies so skinny that they appear to be starving, it can send a very dangerous message.”

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Eating disorder awareness organisation The Butterfly Foundation told Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph that they “absolutely” supported the removal of dolls from Australian stores.

“Retailers are equally as responsible for the merchandise they agree to stock, as the manufacturers are in the creation and production process,”  the group’s chief executive Christine Morgan said in the News Limited paper today.

“With body image listed as one of the top five concerns for young girls, this idolised doll can cause self-esteem and self-image issues,” she said.

Spot the difference: “Thinspiration” images circulated on Instagram (top) and Winx Club dolls advertised online.

“The absurd proportions on these dolls prize a thin image and devalue any young girls natural physical form.”

Myer this week has defended its choice to stock the dolls, the Manly Daily reports.

“The Winx dolls are associated with a children’s animated action and fantasy TV program and represent fairies and other supernatural beings,” the spokeswoman reportedly said.

But some official online description of the dolls — categorised on store websites as “Fashion Dolls” – encourage girls to replicate “unlimited fashionable poses” with their Winx Club dolls.

“With 11 points of articulation, girls can recreate any fashionable pose they want!,” the Australian Toys ‘R Us website says.

If this post has brought up any eating disorder-related issues for you, please see The Butterfly Foundation’s website.

Do you think kids’ toys are getting too skinny? Take a look at the gallery below… 

What do you think about major retailers stocking dolls this thin? Would you allow your daughters to play with Winx Club dolls?