The best-selling doll ever created – a blonde who goes by the name of Barbie – has just been given a body-over, and is now available in 3 different body types: curvy, tall and petite.
Now sold alongside the original model which is 57 years old, the new version of Barbie comes as a reflection of the changes in beauty ideals – the acceptance and appreciation of womens’ varied looks – as well as the constant criticism the brand has faced, with people concluding that Barbie’s traditional face and silhouette is an unrealistic reflection of real women, and an unattainable standard for young children to be made vulnerable to.
The new body shapes follow the addition of the new skin tones and hair textures which were first introduced in 2015, and help to make sure the Barbie brand reflects more diverse looks – just like those of real life society.READ MORE: DIRECTOR AVA DUVERNAY IS AWARDED WITH HER OWN BARBIE DOLL!
The project was a secret kept even from Mattel employee family members, and entitled “Project Dawn” (like, ‘dawn of a new day’) – the project being unveiled yesterday on 28th of January, when the new dolls were made available to buy online.
Also part of the big reveal, Barbie’s story was told by Time Magazine, where the new doll appears along with the headline quote “Now can we stop talking about my body?”
The story details how much of a risk the move is for Mattel, with so many children (and adults) owning a Barbie, and the beloved brand at risk of upsetting their loyal customers.
An example of how upset could be caused includes the fact that previously, outfits could be swapped between all dolls – but with Barbie’s now varied body types, she’ll be subjected to the same styling nightmares that real women endure, with not every garment automatically fitting her frame. Poor doll, not quite – but poor parents an d their pockets, since they’ll need to buy new outfits for the children wanting to play with the new-bodied Barbies.
Team SPICE are with Mattel though, in thinking the benefits of providing children with more realistic body shapes and a more diverse range of skin colours, hair types and facial features, far outweigh the negatives.
In fact, we look forward to seeing how momentous this move is, in changing opinions of body type and race going forward, when the children playing with the dolls are entering society, having not been exposed to just one version (skinny, blonde and blue-eyed) of an ideal of beauty.
Before you get your hands on one of Barbie’s new body types, see below a short film on the doll and how Mattel redefined the iconic toy.
Video & image source: Time.com, Toyland.gizmodo.com