Barbie Gets a New Makeover
If you were a child growing up in suburbia and feeding into consumerism, you had a doll called Barbie. The word ‘Barbie’ is thought of to be synonymous with the word unrealistic. She has the perfect body, silky blonde hair, and a seductive face.
When Ken was released, a cry was heard from men around the world as women were brainwashed into thinking the only type of guy they needed in their life was a doll with muscles.
This curated idea of what the perfect version of gendered appearances are can be intimidating to the children playing with them, and frankly, it’s incredibly outdated. Children grew up thinking there is only one way we all should look to be considered attractive, and if you were a member of any minority? Well, that’s just too bad.
At long last! We’re in 2020, and companies have finally started to wake up. American Eagle’s sub-brand Aerie ditched the airbrushing of their models, embracing the natural beauty of stretch marks and physical disabilities. CoverGirl joined the party, appointing YouTube sensation James Charles as their first CoverBoy in 2016.
Now Barbie’s Fashionista line is joining the bandwagon of diversity and inclusion—but they’ve done more than change her career or hairstyle. Consumers can now choose from an impressive 176 different dolls with—wait for it—9 different body types, 35 skin tones, and 94 hairstyles.
Along with her original size, Barbie has three new body types: petite, tall, and curvy.
More hairstyles and textures are incorporated, as well as including dolls with various physical disabilities.
Barbie isn’t the only one branching out. New Ken dolls have released an addition to this line, featuring dolls with a man bun, cornrows, freckles, and a slightly less muscular body type. Not quite the level of transformation Barbie is on, but it’s a start. Who run the world?
Barbie has gone from a company telling you what to look like to what seems to be a company now profiting off of what you look like. Their Fashionista line was originally introduced to allow children more expressivity when choosing clothing that represents themselves, but now have many-a-body-type to match.
So, what’s next on their journey to equality you ask? Barbie recently made a post to their Instagram introducing their #BarbieWellness collection—teamed up with the meditation app, Headspace—to show the benefits of self-care through play. Nothing helps kids relax from a stressful day of 3rd grade than some Barbie yoga.
Jokes aside, Barbie has finally taken a step in the right direction to teach children that they are very normal, both physically and mentally. Who’s to say what else they have up their sleeve, but regardless, the toy industry has gotten a long-awaited kickin’ up the ass.