Ever since Barbie made her first appearance way back in 1959 she’s pretty much always had the same impossibly thin figure. Sure there have been a few tweaks along the way but her thigh gap and cinched in waist have always been a constant. Little girls everywhere would stroke her impossibly glossy blond hair and dress her petite little figure thinking that this is how women looked. Except they don’t. And so begins a girl’s life long battle with trying to achieve an unrealistic figure and overall look that is in no way representative of the women they are surrounded by.
That is until now. You see today is a great day. Barbie has a brand new body. In fact she has lots of them. Barbie is now available in all sorts of shapes and sizes just like real women. There’s petite, tall and curvy. She even comes in seven different skin tones. Yes, seven!!
Evelyn Mazzocco, Barbie’s global general manager, said, “We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand—these new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them—the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them. We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty.”
Mattel has recognised that it has a responsibility to expose young girls to a broader and more realistic range of body types. In introducing these new dolls they are literally changing the face of the brand. With more and more girls starting to diet and become body conscious at a younger age, it’s so good to see a company taking positive measures to help combat this destructive phenomenon.
Mattel are hoping that the new range, which features on the front cover of TIME magazine, will help boost sales of the doll. It’s been said that Barbies are sold every second but in October Mattel announced a 14% global drop in Barbie sales.
Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer of Mattel, said: “For more than 55 years, Barbie has been a global, cultural icon and a source of inspiration and imagination to millions of girls around the world. Barbie reflects the world girls see around them. Her ability to evolve and grow with the times, while staying true to her spirit, is central to why Barbie is the number one fashion doll in the world.”
Barbie has long been criticised for giving young and impressionable girls an unrealistic idea of what the female body should look like. In 1963, the doll came with a book entitled How to Lose Weight, with instructions to not eat. Can you imagine that? What message is that sending out to young girls?
Bravo Mattel for doing your part to help our young girls develop a healthier body image!
Photos courtesy of Mattel and Google Images