Long before Barbie, Raggedy Ann was promoting an unrealistic body image

By the 1930s, young women — desperate to look like Raggedy Ann — were gluing cotton sheets to their faces and surgically implanting colorful yarn in their scalps.

Decades before Barbie led generations of young girls to believe that beautiful women had fixed elbows and breasts with no nipples, a simple rag doll was already promoting unrealistic standards of beauty.

Ninety years ago, the popularity of Raggedy Ann was moving girls to take drastic measures to attain her simple, girl-next-door looks.

While most people turned a blind eye to the epidemic of facial disfigurement, a few brave social reformers labored to educate the public about just how dangerous Raggedy Ann really was.

Featured below is an opinion piece from 1925 written by pioneering body image activist Sarah K. Bowman, whose great-granddaughter Alexis Bowman is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to manufacture Flarbie: the overweight, socially conscious, gluten-free non-Barbie doll for today’s girls.

Before Barbie, Raggedy Ann created unrealistic standards of beauty of girls