The role of fashion dolls in the adoption of unrealistic social standards of bodily attractiveness by preschool girls



Assimilation of social standards and values is one of the most important aspects of social cognition. The process of social cognition occurs at an early age and covers various areas of life and includes ideas about physical attractiveness. The article describes the results of an experiment dedicated to the study of the formation of ideas about visual appeal for girls of preschool and early school age. It is shown that promoted in today's society values of thinness and slimness children learn very early. 5—6 year old girls prefer the ultra¬thin standards embodied in the image of a mod¬ern fashion dolls (such as Barbie, Bratz, Monster High, Winx et al.) in comparison with the more realistic body image doll with normal proportions. The author has created a technique of "The Choice of a Doll". According to the results of this tech¬nique the lowest rating in the number of choices with a large negative margin of four fashion dolls got exactly this doll. The reasons for her rejection more often is an indication of its corpulence and insufficient length and thinness of her legs and arms. It is concluded that the unrealistic standards of thinness and physical harmo¬ny may be perceived by girls as the corporal norm, while realistic volumes are per¬ceived as as "fat", "big" and "ugly". Analysis of girls' speech production girls shows that the image of fashion dolls correlates them with physical standards and a certain way of life, with entertainment, idleness and social success.

General Information

Keywords: corporal standard, visual attractiveness, self appearance's discontent, fashion dolls

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Kholmogorova A.B., Shalygina O.V. The role of fashion dolls in the adoption of unrealistic social standards of bodily attractiveness by preschool girls . Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2014. Vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 130–154. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alla B. Kholmogorova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry (A Branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga V. Shalygina, Educational Psychologist, NIGHT «khoroshev-scapagnini», Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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