When I think of a Barbie I think of a skinny, tall, blonde and busty doll. They are made so unrealistically that only a Victoria’s Secret model could be compared to them. After years of criticism, Mattel, the maker of Barbie, has finally created a new line of Barbie dolls that can be compared to body figures all around us. The new dolls will be available in different body types such as tall, petite and curvy.
Last year, 23 more ethnically diverse dolls were introduced by Mattel; all dolls had different skin tones, hairstyles, outfits and even flat feet. They were created to allow the children playing with them to grasp the idea of diversity. At such a young age, it’s necessary for children to start understanding the diversity around them so as they grow up, kids and teenagers won’t be bullied based on appearance. However, even with that change, people were not satisfied. Mattel still received criticism because the dolls still had model-like figures.
For years, Barbie has been viewed as an iconic standard for beauty. Beautiful women are compared to Barbie and women want to be compared to Barbie too. The fact of the matter is that not everybody fits the unrealistic proportions of a Barbie’s body. Children need to learn how to be comfortable in whatever shape they come in. As the years go by, I’m sure there will be other changes made that will impact society in a big way, like these new Barbie dolls have and will continue to do.
People want their children playing with dolls that reflect women’s figures all around them. Social media, magazines and even newspapers are unavoidable and can influence children and their idea of beauty. This is where many children first start to see the “ideal” woman — a tall, thin and beautiful figure; if they don’t feel like they meet those standards as they get older, low-self esteem problems start occurring. At such a young age, it’s important for kids not to worry about idealized body types because they shouldn’t feel like they have to look a certain way to feel beautiful.
Growing up, some girls who try to become models or are models struggle with unhealthy eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. These young ladies put their lives at risk just to be tall, beautiful and skinny. The Barbie dolls with different body types help children know from a young age that it is okay to have a different body shape, a different hairstyle and a different skin tone. This will help prevent eating disorders and body discrimination at the same time. If girls are taught that it’s okay to be different from the start, then maybe there will be fewer girls with a low self-esteem. If their dolls reflect the women around them, kids will grow up thinking it’s okay to be different if their Barbie dolls are too.
These new Barbie dolls will not only bring a lot of joy to children playing with them but will also help serve as a life lesson. Girls will understand that you don’t have to have a stick-thin frame to be a Barbie. Whether you’re tall, petite, skinny or curvy, everybody can be as beautiful as a Barbie.