Barbie has been synonymous with childhood for generations, but the iconic doll has frequently come under fire for presenting young girls with a completely unrealistic body image. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed peaches-and-cream doll didn't really reflect girls of varying ethnicities and darker features, either. But all that is about to change.
Mattel, the company behind Barbie, announced on Thursday that it is launching a whole new line of Barbie dolls to include all different body types and physical features. Barbie will now come in three new body types (petite, curvy and tall) and a vast array of eye colors and hair styles.
The additions, which are a result of a secret two-year design overhaul to make Barbie more relevant, will include seven skin tones, 18 eye colors, and 18 hairstyles to go along with the three new body types. Mattel general manager Evelyn Mazzocco, said in an interview with Time that the changes were made to promote “progress, not perfection.”
The company hopes that the new dolls, with their diverse body types, and new skin tones, and hair texture will more closely reflect their young owners. Barbie’s sales have been dwindling recently, dropping a whopping 16 percent in 2014. This is partly thanks to new competition in the toy market, but is also due to the negative public perception of the brand. Barbie hopes that the changes will improve their standing with potential consumers.
Barbie is hoping to jump into the modern world, and reflect the women, of all shapes and sizes, that exist for young girls everywhere. Mazzocco voiced her confidence in the changes, saying, “Our goal was really to celebrate all types of beauty. And a blonde-haired, blue-eyed like Barbie is still beautiful. Just like, now, the more curvier Barbie with dark hair and darker skin is just as beautiful.”
Fans on social media are expressing their excitement over the new-and-improved Barbie brand:
With this news and the Zendaya, Brandy and Ava DuVernay dolls that the company rolled out in recent months, we might have to start collecting Barbies again!
Watch Brandy talk about being honored with her own doll in The BET Life Of..., below:
(Photo: Mattel via AP)