I remember I had a conversation where I have told a girl she was Barbie doll. I just meant she looked beautiful like a Barbie doll: blond, and with blue eyes. Needless to say, she was really offended, and I didn't understand why at that time.

Is Barbie doll a euphemism of a bimbo- brainless beautiful woman?

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    @kiamlaluno It is one thing to edit a question and another to change its meaning. Jun 13, 2012 at 8:48

3 Answers 3


Perhaps you meant it as a compliment, but that's an expression with a lot of negative baggage, and it would be best not to use it as a compliment.

This Google search returns many results that show a controversial stir surrounding Barbie. Many are downright resentful of the toy; there's even an entire Master's thesis on it. Besides being labeled as brainless bimbo, Barbie has been tied to anorexia, low self-esteem, and poor self-image. In short, many women are offended by the existence of an "ideal standard" that they should aspire toward, especially since that standard is both superficial and unrealistic. Such negative views on the toy may not be universal (after all, the doll remains a commercial success), but the controversy is strong enough that the term probably shouldn't be used as a compliment.

Also, the group Aqua released a song called Barbie Girl in the late 90's; here's an excerpt of the lyrics:

I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world
Life in plastic, it's fantastic!
You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation

I'm a blond bimbo girl, in the fantasy world
Dress me up, make it tight, I'm your dolly
You're my doll, rock'n'roll, feel the glamour in pink,
Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky...

All told, it's not too hard to understand why anyone familiar with the song could easily be offended by the comparison.

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    This is the sort of thing that makes it difficult to figure out what will offend people. It's true that some women have said that Barbie dolls create an "unrealistic and superficial ideal" for little girls a little silly. I suppose this is as opposed to the characters that little boys play with, like Superman and Batman, which are completely realistic and achievable and relevant to real life. Anyway, as JR points out, the toy is wildly popular, which must mean that not only do many little girls want to play with it, but many mothers buy it for them. ...
    – Jay
    Jun 13, 2012 at 13:55
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    Thus it seems likely that the women who findi it offensive are a minority. That said, comparing a living person to a doll is inherently tricky. Are you saying that she is pretty like the doll? Or are you saying that you view her as a toy that you will play with and throw away when you're bored with her? Even if she liked the doll as a little girl and sees nothing offensive about it in general, she may not like being compared to it. I have nothing against bank ATMs, but if a girlfriend told me that she thought of me as "her favorite ATM", I'd likely find that disturbing!
    – Jay
    Jun 13, 2012 at 13:59

One of the meaning of doll is, "an attractive young woman, often with connotations of unintelligence and frivolity"; Barbie doll does have a similar meaning. The difference between Barbie doll, and doll is that Barbie doll would not probably be used to mean, "a generous or considerate person," such as in the following sentence:

Would you be a doll and set the table?

Bimbo means, "an attractive but empty-headed young woman, especially one perceived as a willing sex object." Barbie doll is not a "polite" way to say bimbo; they are both seen negatively.

  • In my question I am asking if barbie doll is (euphemism) polite way of wording for bimbo. Synonym means something different- if it is similar of meaning-which means that by default you think they are. Why ? Jun 13, 2012 at 8:54
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    @speedyGonzales Why would it have been a polite way of saying something if she got offended?
    – user10893
    Jun 13, 2012 at 13:50

Yes, in most contexts it would be degratory to call someone a 'Barbie doll' as there are stereotypes attached with this term. I wouldn't regard 'Barbie doll' as a euphemism.

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