Barbie may actually be able to stand on her own two feet now that she has become more realistic. Mattel, the company that is known for its production of the iconic Barbie doll, is being applauded by many for the recent changes it has made to the appearance of its Barbie dolls, which were announced on Thursday, January 28, 2016.
Three new body types, along with a variety of skin tones, have been added to the line that differ greatly from the stick-thin, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Barbie that many girls grew up comparing themselves to.
For such a long time, Barbie was thought to be the perfect depiction of what girls should look like with her impossibly slender body, fashionable clothing, and flawless features.
However, this “ideal” has been a cause for many body-shaming issues, as well as the basis for the completely absurd idea that being skinny is the only equivalent of beauty. This is not the case at all, and many women in today’s society are proof of the matter.
Mattel, however, which began its production of Barbie dolls in 1959, has finally been making changes to the makeup of the doll to increase its diversity and social acceptance. Although the company has made special edition dolls that are of different ethnicities, they have never been considered to be “standard,” until now.
Barbie’s previous major makeover transpired largely last year when Mattel debuted its Fashionista line, which contained a wide assortment of dolls that displayed numerous different skin tones, facial structures, and eye colors.
Now, the doll will come in four different realistic body types: curvy, petite, tall, and the original slim stature. She will also have seven different skin tones, 24 different hair styles, and 22 different eye colors.
The line’s director of consumer insights, Tania Missad said, “We have to let girls know it doesn’t matter what shape you come in, that anything is possible.”
This evolution of the Barbie doll is a marvelous step toward diversity, and it has received a considerable amount of positive feedback.
Sophomore Hetavi Patel said, “Girls and women will not have to worry about their shape because Barbie, which we have known for so long, is now promoting acceptance of all types of people. I think that girls will feel more confident with their bodies, and they will begin to realize that size is just a number.”
The diversification of Barbie has been demanded by the public for quite some time, and although half-baked efforts were sometimes made by the company to fulfil this demand, it was never before satisfied completely.
For instance, a Barbie doll that was modeled after performer Zendaya had been created during September 2015. Although it was not available to the public, the model dissented from the original appearance of a Barbie doll and sparked massive interest. People conveyed their desire to have a wider berth for the variation of Barbie dolls.
Freshman Victoria Mak said, “The new concept of diversity in the Barbie line is so cool to me. I love how girls and women of all races, sizes, and styles can finally truly relate to Barbie. I think this is a huge step in making Barbie unique and relatable to all types of people.”
The new sizes of the Barbie doll represent the shift in beauty ideals of society, which are exhibited through curvaceous celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. Women like these celebrate self-confidence and being comfortable in one’s own body.
The new line of diversified Barbie dolls will be made available in stores starting March 1, 2016, and these girls will indubitably take the toy industry by storm.
How do you think Barbie’s new body will influence the acceptance of different body types in future generations?