Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Barbie finally becomes a real woman – with a more realistic figure

With her tiny waist, stick thin legs and petite frame, the Barbie doll has been accused of promoting an unhealthy body image for over five decades. But now, in her biggest update since 1959, it’s out with the skeletal frame and thigh gap, and in with the curvy hips and thighs as the company has revealed three new body types for the dolls to reflect a “broader view of beauty”.

Mattel, the creator of the toys, said the new range – which also boasts seven different skin tones – was designed to promote a healthy and realistic body image and would better reflect the diversity of those who play with the dolls.

Evelyn Mazzocco, senior vice-president and Barbie’s global general manager, said: “We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand – these new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them. We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty.”

Mattel are hoping that the new range, which features on the front cover of TIME magazine, will help boost sales of the world’s most popular doll. Estimates say three Barbies are sold every second but in October Mattel announced a 14% global drop in Barbie sales, the eighth consecutive quarter in which profits fell.

The project for the dramatic reinvention of Barbie was kept top secret and referred to simply as “Project Dawn” by the company. The new dolls will also boast 24 new hairstyles, including an afro, curly red hair and even long blue hair, a long way from the bright blonde locks traditionally associated with Barbie.

Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer of Mattel, said: “For more than 55 years, Barbie has been a global, cultural icon and a source of inspiration and imagination to millions of girls around the world. Barbie reflects the world girls see around them. Her ability to evolve and grow with the times, while staying true to her spirit, is central to why Barbie is the number one fashion doll in the world.”

Since Barbie first came onto the market, the doll has attracted criticism for giving young and impressionable girls an unrealistic idea of what the female body should look like. In 1963, the doll came with a book entitled How to Lose Weight, with instructions to not eat. Research also found that, with her 36in chest and 18in waist, Barbie would lack the 17% body fat needed to menstruate.

The embracing of different body types was welcomed by several charities who champion healthy body image and assist those who struggle with eating disorders, which research shows are exacerbated by exposure to unrealistic body types. In July 2015, research found that children in the UK as young as eight were reporting body dissatisfaction and that almost 40% of 14-year-old girls were admitting to regular dieting.

Andrew Radford, the chief executive of eating disorder charity Beat, said he was delighted Mattel had introduced more diversity to the Barbie range. “For a long time Beat has campaigned against the constant portrayal of a very slender look as the only aspirational ideal for young people,” he said.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“If a generation is to grow up with a robust sense of their self worth we must challenge this. To more truly reflect the diversity of shapes, sizes and culture of mankind is a welcome initiative, especially in a range that generations of young girls have identified with since its inception.”

Liam Preston, spokesman for the YMCA’s Be Real campaign, which works with schools and corporations, said it was about time that companies accepted responsibility for the images that they projected onto young girls and teenagers.

“We know that children are affected from a young age by the images around them. We have research that says girls as young as five years old are worried about the way they look and their size. More so than ever, everywhere they go young people are bombarded with images of photoshopped women, who have shapes that are just not real and not healthy and that is a big issue for us.”

For decades Barbie dolls were criticised for making young girls obsess over unrealistic body dimensions.

”It’s so important that young people embrace diversity and feel happy with who they are, and the dolls Mattel are looking to do could really help that. I hope this is the first step for a change in the children’s market overall.”

The company also hopes the new diverse range will appeal to “millenial mums”, who are more socially conscious and had a negative view of Barbie’s previously unrealistic proportions

Speaking to the Telegraph, Tania Missad, Mattel’s director of global brand insight, also said they were expecting some criticism that the new dolls “haven’t gone far enough, or people who ask what’s next, question our commitment to this”. She added: “Barbie is a lightning rod for conversation, and of course there will be a backlash.”


You May Also Like


Professing to be the lead in Thai relationship with over 1.5 million enrolled single people, Cupid Media’s ThaiCupid brings the one in every of...


Read more about switzerland women here. Swiss ladies and men are not reknown for being the most chatty, outgoing or spontaneous when meeting strangers...


An exclusive article form Orestis Karipis In the 1930’s and 1940’s acid was the weapon of deceived husbands and wives in the Western world...


In food, if there is one thing you can say without fear of contradiction, it is this: Britain loves burgers. The UK market is...

Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved