After 57-years the blonde bombshell has been transformed to reflect her diverse customer base.
The iconic toy is now available in three new body-types including petite, curvy and tall. The changes to Barbie’s image also include 7 new skin tones, 22 eye colours and 24 new hairstyles including a curls and a half-shaved gender-neutral hair cut.
Source | Twitter @Barbie
The changes to Barbie’s body type come after decades of criticism that her proportions are unobtainable and promote unhealthy body-image for young girls. While studies have shown Barbie only has a small impact on body-image it has been proven that given her proportions Barbie would not be able to stand-up if scaled up to life-size.
Over the last few years Mattel has faced a decline in sales as parents seek out toys that are more in line with their values. In a TIME cover story on Barbie’s transformation Senior Vice President of Mattel, Evelyn Mazzocco says that many millennial parents consider Barbie “out of touch”, “materialistic” and “not diverse”
Mattel believes the new dolls begin to address the criticism Barbie has faced for promoting unrealistic body standards, while also promoting a more inclusive images that girls can relate to.
In a statement about the new collection, Mazzocco 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,"
The transformation was a huge undertaking for Mattel, who named the operation “Project Dawn” in order to keep it top secret. The in-depth report from TIME details the stages of the project including some troubling market research sessions involving young girls. In one session, the girls as young as 6 would undress the ‘curvy’ and laugh at it mercilessly.
Now released, the collection is being applauded for its progress. However, Mattel also expects to have some backlash and have set up a specified helpline to deal with complaints related to the new collection of dolls.
The new collection is available online HERE and will be in stores later this year.