A New ‘Barbie’ Takes Shape

Mattel’s Barbie dolls are taking a different shape these days.

The company famous for their iconic dolls announced on Jan. 28 three new shapes — petite, tall and curvy — as well as seven different skin tones, changing the 57-year-old look of the dolls, according to The New York Daily News.

These changes come in an attempt to provide Barbie customers with a more realistic body aesthetic that starkly contrasts the supermodel-like forms of Barbies past.

The Daily News says that the dolls were crafted in a top-secret mission named “Project Dawn,” in which designers worked on Barbie’s new image for two consecutive years. The new dolls feature a more voluptuous derrière, along with a fuller stomach, arms and legs. The dolls, part of the 2016 Fashionistas line, also includes 22 eye colors and 24 hair colors.

Head of the Barbie brand Evelyn Mazzocco spoke to Time, where news of the launch first broke, on how long it took to change Barbie’s shape. “Yes, some people will say we are late to the game. But changes at a huge corporation take time,” she said according to The Huffington Post.

While The Daily News says that the changes received positive responses from the likes of size-14 model Lizzie Miller, who thought the revisions were long overdue, CNN found that not all people welcomed the changes — especially Alexandra Petri of the The Washington Post.

Petri wrote, “The trouble with Barbie is that if you start taking away her unrealistic elements, she disappears altogether … Barbie is either the iconic, unattainable figure, blonde and waiflike, with huge eyes, or she is — what, exactly? Make her real, and she ceases to exist. She becomes a brand, a category heading, like American Girl, Monster High, Bratz.”

Although the changes were met with mixed reviews, Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson said their mission is to empower females. “Our brand represents female empowerment,” he told Time. “It’s about choices. Barbie had careers at a time when women were restricted to being just housewives. Ironically, our critics are the very people who should embrace us.”

 

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