Barbie’s New Makeover

Photo from NPR

Photo from NPR

Right now, kids all around are buzzing over the new collection of Barbie dolls. The original blond haired, blue-eyed beauty has now been recreated into different looks. Instead of representing only one kind of person, Barbie has recreated more “realistic” looks and body types. With 33 new Barbie dolls, children can now choose what they want their doll to look like.

When children play with Barbie dolls, an unrealistic expectation of how they should look is etched into their heads without them even knowing. With the now curvier, taller, petite, and multi-racial dolls, adolescents can now look up to the Barbie doll they prefer. The executive in charge of Barbie’s reinvention stated, “I think today, frankly more so than any other time, Barbie is truly representing what girls see.”

These new models include many different types of dolls. There are differing body types, including petite, tall, and curvy bodies, seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 14 “face sculpts”. Now, children have a variety of choices of what doll they want to pick out. Not only this, but having these new Barbies sends a message to all children that everyone is beautiful in their own way, and that everyone (no matter what you look like) will be accepted. Contributing designer, Kelly Faircloth, stated, “It’s unquestionably positive for girls to see a wider array of skin colors and body types represented positively. A more diverse Barbie is a good thing.”

Michael Pearson from CNN commented, “Girls and women don’t come in one shape, and now, finally, Barbie won’t either.” The dolls now represent the company as a “21st century company,” says Mattel (the company that makes Barbie). As well as this, the company has made other positive decisions. This includes now titling their toys as “kids’ toys” rather than marketing the toys exclusively to girls. These few steps are just part of the huge cultural shift that we are able to create.

Barbie Dolls have always been looked at as the “picture perfect” girl. Now showcasing different types of people, skin tones and body types, the message is loud and clear to all children that everyone has something to be proud of and anything is possible.