The original Barbie, released in 1959, had a 36-inch bust alongside an 18-inch waist. Unattainable beauty at its finest. Since then, she graduated to an even more unrealistic body type with a 32-inch bust and a 16-inch waist. After many artists in the past decade created alternative, more realistic dolls — such as Nickolay Lamm's Average Barbie which included optional acne, cellulite, freckle, and stretch mark stickers, and Eddi Aguirre's Makeup-Free Barbie — toy maker Mattel has finally decided to make a change.
The new doll comes in three new body types: tall, petite and curvy. In a statement from the director of consumer insights at Mattel, Tania Missad said "We have to let girls know it doesn't matter what shape you come in, that anything is possible." So now, Barbie will come in four body types (including the normal doll we all grew up with), seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 24 hairstyles, allowing young girls to see dolls that look like women they see in real life.
Barbie also has movable ankles which allow her to wear flat shoes instead of the stilettos she's accustomed to. Overall, Mattel is hoping this change will help save their business while also appealing to more girls and their parents.
Here is an Instagram post the company shared, celebrating some of the changes:
This change is the biggest and most dramatic change that Barbie has ever experienced, and as far as we're concerned, it's the most important one. Girls are vulnerable as they're growing up and when self-esteem comes into the picture, it's important that what they're seeing in the media and in the toy aisle supports and encourages their overall well-being.