Everyone is familiar with the iconic Barbie. Since 1959, Barbie’s classic blonde hair, long legs, tiny waist, and impeccable style have been a staple of toy collections everywhere. As much as her job, lifestyle, and personal style has changed over the years, she has remained tall, thin, and blonde; in other words, beautiful.
But one of Barbie’s missions is to be a role model for children, especially girls, everywhere. She is meant to represent confidence, success and beauty, but a girl of color, a short girl, or a petite girl can easily see she does not look like Barbie. Thus, she can’t be beautiful because Barbie is the epitome of feminine beauty, right?
Wrong. Barbie has changed her look and now she does represent the beauty of every type of girl. With Mattel’s new Barbie 2016 Fashionistas Line, the Original Barbie continues, but Tall Barbie, Petite Barbie, and Curvy Barbie have been introduced. Each body type can be purchased in seven different skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 new hairstyles for each of these new dolls.
Barbie’s new campaign, #TheDollEvolves is empowering girls and women everywhere. Little girls playing with these dolls can now get a doll that looks just like them and be confident that she can have Barbie’s success because she’s just like Barbie. Women everywhere can finally say they look like a Barbie now which is something most of us never thought we would be able to say.
The new body types and skin colors send positive messages to not only girls, but boys as well. Now there is no stereotypical, plastic, beautiful idea of this ‘perfect’ Barbie doll type of girl. Boys can now look and see there is a beautiful doll representing every type of woman, and there are many more types of beautiful than tall, blonde, and skinny. Young boys will see if Barbie can be tall, petite, and curvy and still be just as beautiful as Original Barbie, they’ll better see the beauty of those body types in real life.
Barbie’s #TheDollEvolves goes beyond just body types also. Barbie’s website says of the campaign, “This is just the beginning. From offering products that feature more empowering and imaginative roles to partnering with best in class role models, we believe in girls and their limitless potential. #YouCanBeAnything.” Right now a Spy Squad line is available and the Fashionistas Line will be available in spring. This summer, the career of the year for Barbie will be game developer (typically, a male profession). There will also be a President and Vice President Barbie available this year, and with Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaigns, this couldn’t be a better time to do so.
While I am beyond jealous that these dolls were not around during my Barbie obsessed days, I am so glad that other girls will get to experience this new Barbie evolution. Mattel is making big and important changes in the Barbie world, and we can only anticipate more body positive and woman empowering moves from the Barbie empire.