Barbie® shocked audiences the world over when news of her split from iconic couple Barbie and Ken broke in 2004 and again in 2011 when they reunited. Aside from the romantic rollercoaster, however, Barbie has made little growth in terms of widening lines or embracing the diversity movement that has swept through the media. The popular doll with the unobtainable body proportions has held on to the classic look throughout the years, and the limited run of friends were molded in the same way. Aside from Ken’s radical makeover in 2006, which involved him going even more unrealistically glam, Barbie has seen no design change in quite some time. That is, until now.
In a huge announcement the morning of January 28th, 2016, Barbie® launched #TheDollEvolves. This newest evolution of Barbie introduces a wider range of ethnicities as well as three new body types. Yep, that’s right. Plus size Barbie is officially going to be a thing. The other new options are a taller frame Barbie and a petite model.
As Robert Best, Senior Director of Product Design, states “This is radical because we’re saying that there isn’t this narrow standard of what a beautiful body looks like”. The folks over at Mattel are making a huge push towards changing the outdated beauty ideals they’ve long held. “This is what the future looks like, because this is what the world looks like.”
Introducing the 2016 Barbie® Fashionistas™ Dolls. Releasing over time throughout the year, the line includes 4 body types, 7 skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles, and countless on-trend fashions and accessories.
“We have to let girls know it doesn’t matter what shape you come in, that anything is possible,” the promo video announces as a group of diverse girls play and talk about the new line of Barbie® dolls.
Of course, these ‘radical’ statements aren’t new to most of us, who’ve long set down the road of body positivity and wider representation, but it is new to Barbie®. And we have to give it to them for finally stepping up to the plate and making an effort.