For many, beauty and fashion are permanently linked. With regard to fashion, the Barbie doll has been consistently in style. From the first Barbie dolls, Mattel took care to dress them in detailed, fashionable clothes. Some observers note that the fashions of the Barbie doll trace fashion trends perfectly since 1959.While critics complain that model do not represent "average" female bodies, they also complain about the Barbie doll's size. Some have criticized the dimensions of the Barbie doll as an unattainable ideal of the female shape.
Charlotte John, the Barbie doll's first dress designer, explained that the doll was not intended to reflect a female figure realistically, but rather to portray an exaggerated shape underneath fashionable clothes. However, the unrealistic dimensions of the doll have brought the strongest criticism regarding the doll's encouragement of an obsession with weight and looks. Convinced of the negative effects of the Barbie doll on children, Cathy Meredig of High Self Esteem Toys developed a more realistically proportioned doll in 1991.Her doll didn't sell well, however. Throughout the years, the Barbie doll has several competitors, but none have been able to compete with the glamor offered by the Barbie doll.