Barbie’s New Body


Mattel introduces a new line of Barbie dolls.

Paige Gunther, Social Media Manager/ Staff Writer

Children now have three new Barbie body shapes to play with. Mattel announced the changes being made to the doll including new skin tones and hairstyles. It is a societal transformation meant to teach young girls that it’s normal not to have the body of a doll or look like the models in magazines.

Introducing petite and curvy dolls broadens the view of beauty, according to Evelyn Mazzocco, Barbie’s senior vice president and global general manager.

Introducing petite and curvy dolls broadens the view of beauty”

— Senior Vice President of Barbie

The modification to a classic icon is obviously to fit a new standard-one that is more sensitive to reality and diversity.

Growing up with an extensive collection of Barbie dolls, this change means the end of an era for me. Barbie is a character; she’s not just a brand. She looks the way she does because that’s how she is. I never questioned why my Barbie had a thin body or had blonde hair or blue eyes.

People think Barbie’s body sends the wrong message to children, but I don’t think a toy sends a message at all. The ones who are offended by Barbie’s body are adults, not the children who play with the dolls.

I can’t remember ever wanting to have her body or look like her because I understood that she was just a doll. If I wanted my toys to look like me, I could have asked for another type of doll on the market. Owning other Barbie dolls with different color hair, I did not call them Barbie because they weren’t.

Fitting different races, hair textures and colors, and different bodies to Barbie, who has a distinct persona, seems confusing for children. If Mattel introduced the new dolls as different characters, that would be more realistic because how can something with opposite appearances be called the same name?

Having a variety of dolls to choose from is a great thing; Barbie losing her identity is another.