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Barbie Embraces Different Standards Of Beauty

Anokhi DIY Anokhi Today Breaking News & Sports World Jan 31, 2016

Barbie is coming out with three new body types. Lovers of the iconic toy will now be able to play with "tall," "petite" and "curvy" Barbie dolls alongside new models in the "original" silhouette. The new line also includes a wider range of skin tones, hairstyles and eye colours.

If you were a South Asian girl growing up in the '80s or '90s, chances are that the most iconic toy of your time — to put it simply — didn't look like you at all. She was, for the most part, tall and blonde, with big boobs, a tiny waist and even smaller feet. You may have gotten lucky to spot a brunette Barbie here and there, but ultimately, she looked the same as the original Barbie except with a different hair colour.

Well, times are changing. Barbie isn't as popular as she used to be, and the makers of the classic toy have been called upon to make some major changes. According to Time Magazine, Barbie sales fell 20% from 2012 to 2014 and continued to fall in 2015. Lego surpassed Mattel as the biggest toy company in 2014, and Elsa dethroned Barbie as the most popular girl toy. The head of Barbie, Evelyn Mazzocco, recognizes that the Millennial mom favours toys that she views as empowering to her children. So it's only natural that Barbie becomes more body-positive. 


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Barbie released three new body shapes — curvy, petite and tall — and dozens of different features on The new dolls will be hitting stores on March 1st and sold alongside the original Barbie. A total of 33 new dolls will roll out by the end of the year. Mattel aims to have the dolls better reflect what girls see in the world around them. 

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Barbie has continued to evolve over 57 years, from blonde to brunette, homemaker to astronaut. Last year, Barbie launched 23 new dolls with different skin tones, hairstyles and flat feet. But the introduction of curvy Barbie has to be the most striking evolution of them all. Curvy Barbie has thick thighs and a protruding tummy and bum. Good luck fitting her into your average Barbie's clothes!
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In the midst of all these changes, will Barbie remain Barbie? The iconic Barbie still draws in girls around the world. Will young fans still want the original Barbie, or will they be drawn to the other Barbies who look more like them?

It's no doubt that offering a doll that young children can relate to can make kids more comfortable in their skin. But if media continues to portray a certain type of beauty despite Barbie's efforts, will little girls prefer the original Barbie for her idealized features that mainstream media constantly perpetuate?

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments section below.

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Preeya Malik

Preeya Malik


Preeya Malik is an investment professional by day, blogger by night and ultra feminine feminist all day every day.  She loves math, bourbon and all things beauty – inner and outer. As a career woman, she loves exploring realistic beauty tips for the busy professional, while challenging cu...


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