When five-year-old Cambelle binned her Curvy Barbie for being “too big,” her mother, Allie, clapped back in the best way possible.
Taking to Instagram, the body positivity campaigner from Florida, shared the conversation between her and the youngster.
“Can you tell me why you threw away one of your perfectly good toys?” Allie asked.
“Because I don’t like her. Her arms aren’t right. Her legs are too big. She doesn’t look like my other Barbies and she doesn’t fit into any of the clothes except this one outfit,” Cambelle responded.
Dumbfounded, the mum-of-two found herself relating to the inanimate object.
“I was paused. I was speechless. I honestly felt some tears start welling in my eyes,” she wrote.
“It was as if Curvy Barbie’s life was a reflection of the way I felt for SO long being a plus size woman in a thin woman’s world.”
“I always felt like my arms weren’t right, my legs were big, and anywhere I went, nothing fit. For a very long time, I allowed those perceptions and the constrictions of society make me feel as if I was the trash. Much like myself, Curvy Barbie is still living in a thin Barbie world.”
Instead of shying away from a difficult conversation, she proceeded to ask her daughter how Barbie would be feeling now she’d been consigned to the bin.
“I think she feels sad and crying,” she said.
Allie went on to explain that no one – toy or otherwise - deserves to be treated differently because of their appearance.
“We have to be kind to everyone,” Cambelle agreed.
In the end, she decided to fish Barbie from the trash, wash her off and dress her ready for play.
Allie believes it’s this kind of incident that should be taken as an ideal opportunity to teach children about the importance of self-love and body positivity.
“Each time I am put in a position where I can ignore these early signs for body image issues and pass them off as ‘oh, she’s just a kid playing with her Barbies, maybe she really just doesn’t like this one, it doesn’t REALLY matter’ OR I can make a conscious effort to help her dissect how she’s feeling, allow her to explain her discomfort, and give her a new loving perspective. Just do you!”
Unsurprisingly, the post immediately went viral, garnering thousands of likes and hundreds of supporting comments in a matter of hours.
“Good parenting,” one user wrote.
“Instead of ignoring the situation you took this opportunity and used it as a teachable moment and you let her express herself.”
“This is so important for young children. Give yourself a pat on the back,” added another.