Since Barbie was first introduced in 1959, controversy has surrounded the doll because of her unrealistic proportions and narrow definition of beauty. This is an especially important conversation because young girls are often given Barbie dolls to play with at an impressionable age. Fortunately, Mattel (the company that produces Barbie) is changing with the times and recently revealed a Barbie Fashionistas collection, which includes 4 body types, 7 skin tones, 18 hair colors, and 18 eye colors. The company states, “By introducing more variety into the line, Barbie is offering girls choices that are better reflective of the world they see today.”
The three new body shapes (in addition to the original) are “curvy,” “petite,” and “tall.” As for the updated skin tones, eye colors, and hair colors, Barbie will now display a wide range of races and ethnicities. Considering that the original Barbie is a bestseller bringing in a whooping $1 billion a year, Mattel will still be producing this model in addition to their new faces and figures. Senior vice president and global general manager of Barbie, Evelyn Mazzocco, concludes in a statement, “We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty.”
The new, diverse range of Barbies is currently available for purchase online at Barbie.com, but will reach stores on March 1st. A total of 33 new dolls will hit shelves by the end of this year.
All photos via Mattel.