Thanks to a new makeover, Barbie looks a little more like a "normal" woman.
Thanks to a new makeover, Barbie now looks a little more like a "normal" woman.
Mattel, the maker of the iconic doll, announced today that they are introducing three new body types for Barbie: Petite, Tall, and Curvy. The new dolls (sold alongside Original Barbie) have a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hair colors, hair textures, and even flat feet. All of this means young girls will now have a better chance of playing with a Barbie that more closely resembles their own appearance.
First released in 1959, Barbie has long faced criticism for sending the wrong message to girls. (Many have argued that if a real person had Barbie's proportions she would be severely anorexic.) But in recent years, as the body positivity movement has taken off, Barbie's crazy-unattainable shape has seemed even more absurd. At the same time, competitors have started selling dolls with real-life proportions and characteristics, such as the Lammily doll, which has stretch marks, acne, cellulite, and even gets her period.
As Time reports in their cover story:
American beauty ideals have evolved: the curvaceous bodies of Kim Kardashian West, Beyoncé and Christina Hendricks have become iconic, while millennial feminist leaders like Lena Dunham are deliberately baring their un-Barbie-like figures onscreen, fueling a movement that promotes body acceptance. In this environment, a new generation of mothers favor what they perceive as more–empowering toys for their daughters.
In recent years, Mattel has made strides to combat Barbie's reputation as anti-feminist. Last year, the company launched its "Imagine the Possibilities" ad campaign, which portrayed young girls in different professions; and released 23 new dolls with different hair and skin colors. But this latest update is the first time that Barbie's body shape has changed to reflect real-life proportions.
The new dolls are available today on Mattel's website as part of the "Fashionistas" line and will start appearing in stores later this year. Welcome to the real world, Barbie.