Since 1959 Barbie dolls have been the stereotypical toys for young girls, their worldwide popularity and commercial success have earned them the title of the best selling toy of all time. Numerous movies, games, fashion trends, and artwork have been inspired by Barbie, making it a cultural icon. The creator, Ruth Handler, designed the dolls to be predominantly caucasian and blonde but over the years a wider variety of ethnicities, hair colors and styles were added to satisfy the global demand.
This January, Mattel announced that Barbie will be available in tall, curvy and petite body shapes. An addition to the regular skinny body shape that had been a staple since their first debut. Alternative skin tones, hair styles and hair colors will also be added, these elements will all be available in many combinations.
“I believe that the new Barbie dolls are actually a great invention because they have more diversity and they look more real which motivates girls to accept themselves the way they are and not just try to be the typical stereotype, ” senior Kenia Chavez said. “I would want one because they’re different and I would want one that looks like me.”
The original dolls were designed to represent the embodiment of a “perfect” woman, a tall beautiful girl with an hourglass figure and long blonde hair. This concept of an ideal image quickly spread to social media and shifted the concept of how women should look and what is specifically considered beautiful and desired in society. In reality there are not many actual women, who look like that, which leads girls to have unrealistic expectations about their body and image.
“I think it’s a good thing because everyone is so set on someone just being one shape so if they make all different sizes it’s showing how everyone in the world is different,” sophomore Megan Garcia said.
Many young girls will appreciate that there are dolls that look just like them because it will give them a sense of importance and they will know that no matter what they look like they are considered beautiful.
“It will encourage girls to accept the way they look and see that we are all beautiful even though we have different shapes, colors and sizes,” Chavez said.
The dolls are now available online and will be available in stores later this year.