I’m a Barbie girl
Mattel’s newest move with Barbie is one of the best
When I say I had two large bins full of Barbie dolls and Barbie accessories when I was younger, I’m not joking. And when I say bins, I mean the massive ones your parents normally store large decorations in.
As I was growing up, Barbie was my favorite toy. I loved the fact that depending on what Barbie I was using, she could transform into anything: a doctor, an astronaut or even a businesswoman. She inspired girls to make them believe they could be anything they wanted to be.
But when some girls played with Barbie, they might not have been able to see themselves when they looked at the doll.
I always associated with Barbie’s friend Teresa. Her brown hair and eyes were most similar to mine rather than her blonde hair, blue-eyed counterpart. Now girls don’t need to settle for the sidekick thanks to the new line of Barbie dolls Mattel is launching.
Mattel announced Thursday that Barbie will now come in all different shapes, sizes and skin colors. Rather than having a different name or being known as Barbie’s friend, each of these dolls are under the Barbie title.
Instead of the tall, skinny blonde we’ve all come to associate with the doll, curvy Barbie donned with teal hair, petite Barbie with darker skin and tall Barbie with a lavender bob are some of the options girls can now choose to transform into anything of their choosing.
This is one of the best things Mattel could possibly do to further its brand. Nowadays young girls look down the aisle of a toy store and have the ability to choose any type of doll – ones that can double as a teenage monster, dolls with big heads and lips that have feet that come off, or dolls that double as favorite Disney characters – and Barbie was falling behind. Now it can compete with every other brand whose dolls don’t fit the mold as the typical “girl.”
This also will teach girls that you don’t have to look a certain way in order to perform a certain job. Why can’t the Barbie with bright red hair who may be a little shorter be as great of a veterinarian as the regular Barbie? And the Barbie with the big curly hair can be just as good a mom as the blonde, straight-haired one.
In a society where looks are so closely criticized, girls are starting to notice their appearances at a younger age. It’s necessary for them to have a toy they can play with without having to measure up to the piece of plastic they’re holding in their hands.
Studies have shown that the original Barbie’s body would be so disproportionate she wouldn’t be able to live a normal life. According to The Daily Mail, if Barbie was an actual woman, she would be unable to lift her head up because of how large it is in contrast to her neck and would need to walk on all fours in able to get around.
It’s obvious to see how extreme Barbie’s size is from those figures, but young girls playing with the toy won’t be thinking about the specifics – they’ll instead see a thin attractive doll to emulate.
Barbie is a toy that has been passed through several generations only fitting one mold. It’s 2016; we’re becoming a culture that is far from fitting one certain look. Isn’t it time our toys adapt that style too?
Marlee Tuskes is the senior news editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org