a new Body

“Imagination comes in all shapes and sizes. That’s why the world of Barbie is evolving.”

The 2016 Barbie Fashionista line includes four body types:
original, tall, petite, and curvy.
Seven skin tones, 22 eye colours and 24 hairstyles and “countless on-trend fashions and accessories”.
Hairstyles include mohawks, afros, braids, curly and straight bobs, and some with unusual hair colours like blue and purple.

“With added diversity and more variety in styles, fashions, shoes, and accessories, girls everywhere will have infinitely more ways to spark their imagination and play out their stories”, the brand added.[1]

The Barbie of my childhood just got an extreme makeover. The top-heavy blond version is now flanked by a diverse cast of friends also named Barbie. There’s a short one, a tall one and one whose curves aren’t only on her chest. There’s a wider palette of skin tones and an assortment of hairstyles and textures. Market pressures, perhaps bending to societal ones, have forced Mattel to finally make Barbie look a little more like American women. It’s a feminist victory, especially for parents who want to allow their kids the creative fun of playing with dolls but don’t want to send the message that looking like Barbie is something to which girls should aspire. For girls, the world has been changing for the better, and Barbie is trying to catch up.
In her defense, it’s hard to move fast in heels.[2]
Jill Filipovic


[1] Dezeen Magazine
[2] Text by Jill Filipovic, Time Magazine

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