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.
“(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.”