The news was just released that Barbie is getting a new body to be more realistic for the average girl’s body. And my initial reaction was, “FINALLY, MATTEL GOT THE MESSAGE.” We know that this concept of realistic body images for girls is a hit and some folks have taken it into their own hands to develop realistic dolls, like the founder of Lammily.
Now, the traditional Barbie isn’t getting replaced, but instead will have shelf sisters who are more diverse than ever. In addition, to the changes Mattel made in 2015 by offering different skin tones, Mattel is taking it a necessary step further by added three new body types to the product line: tall, petite and curvy, which also happen to come with different hair colors to best reflect the ever-changing trends of 21st century America. YASSSS!
Not only does this doll evolution develop young girls’ views on self body image in a healthier way, but it also provides a greater chance for play and imagination to run wild. All too often I found myself as a kid throwing doll parties in Barbie’s dream townhouse (complete with pulley elevator) and I often forgot who was hosting the shindig because Veterinarian Barbie looked like Nurse Barbie or wait, was that Ballerina Barbie? — all Barbies in my play trunk looked the same — bright smile, blonde hair, trim waste, always shoeless — except with the only identifier being her clothing, which I changed regularly. Girls now will have the opportunity to play with dolls that closely reflect what’s currently out in the world allowing them to develop more character personas which lead to creative playtime and ultimately growing their reasoning that yes, we’re all people but what makes us beautiful is our differences.
I’m ecstatic that after years of media and bloggers like myself urging Mattel to make changes by exposing the false realities of Barbie’s biology they finally listened. And the new and improved dolls went on sale today at Barbie.com and I’m interested to see how well they do in terms of sales and outreach to more moms, daughters and other Barbie enthusiasts.
Watch the video from Mattel on why this evolution is important to them — AKA Mattel showcasing that they’ve received our messages loud and clear!
I’ve hated on Barbie on this blog and applauded others who are working to break down the boundaries that we surround our little girls with when it comes to toys and playtime. But finally, FINALLY Mattel has done something right in Barbie’s newest commercial that tells girls when you play with Barbie “you can be anything” all it takes is some imagination.
Now, this isn’t far-fetched from what Barbie has been about the whole time — after all she’s been every career we could ever think of, but after a decade or so of slightly condescending ads that often focus on “beauty” and model-like” behaviors, this ad was downright heartfelt, positive and not to mention inspiring. I think I might have cracked a smile or two. Because it’s true, girls can be anything they want, all it takes is some imagination and believing in your dreams!
Watch for yourself:
I want to know your thought? Love it hate it? Indifference? Let me know!
::Singing:: “I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie worrrld, life in plastic, it’s fantastic!”
As a little girl I owned many Barbie branded items, (who didn’t?) the multi-level “dream” house complete with pulley elevator, the battery-powered pink Jeep that I drove around the cul de sac collecting autumn leaves and rocks, naturally. I also owned shififtyfive multi-talented, career-driven Barbie dolls, who had drawers full of clothing for any and all occasions. I mean what if she wanted to roller skate in the park with her puppy and sister Skipper? A girl needs options!
However, being a kid I’m not sure I even realized how un-proportional the Barbie doll actually was compared to the human species because I was too busy using my imagination (yay, creativity!) and finding the matching minuscule plastic high heel in the air vent. Pesky things never stayed put.
Shoeless Barbies forever.
After I grew up and playtime was over I began to realize the trademark Barbie bod was no where near that of normal girls’ errr… humans’. Reality check: Barbie’s are the in-hand version of the digitally altered images we see on the glossy pages of magazines.
Refinery 29 put out an article with the most glorious graphics from Rehabs.com demonstrating the ridiculousness of the Barbie body, asking “Is the Barbie body possible?” The short answer: No. But read on for just how ridiculous.