In the past few years, Barbie dolls have taken tiny steps toward becoming more inclusive. First, they introduced dolls that could (gasp!) wear flats, and then they featured a boy in a commercial for the very first time to promote Moschino Barbie. You can even buy a Barbie that looks like director Ava DuVernay. But now, the company has made one of its biggest moves yet, creating three new body types for its dolls to reflect real-life girls and women.
The new Fashionista dolls will have four body types: the original, plus tall, curvy, and petite. They also feature seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 30 hair colors, 24 hair styles, and 14 face sculpts. The new body types also mean that not every piece of Barbie clothing will fit every doll, and that includes shoes. Mattel has anticipated this will be such an issue that they've set up a separate complaint line for these dolls.
According to Time, the move is meant to cater to millenial moms, who are the future of their consumer base. Plus, it's an attempt to fix the bad reputation that comes with selling a super-skinny doll to girls; an exec told the magazine that she even gets death threats about Barbie's body. It even took months to decide on the terms tall, petite, and curvy, and figure out how to translate those terms into different languages without offending people.
"We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty," Evelyn Mazzocco, the brand's senior vice president and global brand manager, said in a statement. "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 dolls are on sale starting today at Barbie.com and Shop.Mattel.com, and will hit stores this spring.
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