On Thursday, January 28 Mattel launched a brand new line of Barbie’s. This new line sets itself apart from the standard blonde, tan, and thin Barbie dolls that have graced store shelves for the past 57 years. The new line actually features Barbie’s of various skin colors, weight types, and heights.
For me Barbie was a huge part of my childhood. I had just about every Barbie imaginable piled in my closet. There was Teacher Barbie, Ballet Barbie, and even Walmart Barbie. All of these Barbie’s contained one similar trait- they were all blonde, blue eyed, and ‘perfect’. I dreamed of becoming Barbie when I was older. I longed to have straight, blonde hair and blue eyes and I despised my frizzy brown hair and dark brown eyes. Of course, I don’t blame a toy solely for my hair hatred, but I think it would have been beneficial to see someone like me featured on a doll.
Barbie has always been an emblem for beauty and femininity, but now Barbie can represent that for so many more young women and men. Mattel has released Barbie’s of different skin types and hair colors in the past, but never have they released something as progressive and realistic as this.
The new line will feature three new body types and a variety of skin tones and hairstyles. According to USA Today, “This is the first time the doll will be available in body types beyond its original stick-thin frame. “ The dolls will be in stores on March 1. However, the online sales have already begun and so have the Twitter reactions.
Some Twitter users, however; are upset that Barbie hasn’t evolved further. People have criticized the time that it has taken to launch a realistic line like this, while others criticize that there is still not representation for the LGBTQ community.
I’m, personally, excited for this new line. I do, however; think that Mattel shouldn’t stop here. I think it would be beneficial to exhibit a Barbie that celebrates the June 26, 2015 gay marriage legalization. Also, it would be beneficial for Mattel to stray away from Barbie’s fountain of youth appearance and create Barbie’s that age.