A Classic Remodeled for the 21st Century

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After fifty seven years, the iconic blonde-haired Barbie has evolved to fit in with the diversity the revolves around the 21st century. Barbie has evolved after years of receiving much criticism from people concerning the doll’s unrealistic body proportions. This criticism stems from the virtually impossible beauty standards the doll creates for young girls.

The brand stated on their website, “Along with more overall diversity, we proudly add three new body types to our line.”

Mattel, the creator of Barbie, announced its new line on January 28th, stating that Barbie would come in four body types, seven skin tones, twenty-two eye colors, and twenty-four hairstyles. In addition to the doll’s new realistic image, the doll will also feature movable ankles that allow the dolls to wear flat shoes. The three new body types are labeled ‘Curvy,’ ‘Tall,’ and ‘Petite.’

curvy-barbie-exlarge-169Tania Missad, director of consumer insights for the doll line, stated, “We have to let girls know it doesn’t matter what shape you come in, that anything is possible.”

This move is not only to diversify Barbie but also to increase sales; in recent years, the iconic doll’s sales have plummeted. The lack of diversity of a once-blonde haired Barbie could be held responsible for this. The doll failed to remain relevant for girls who do not look like her. According to toy maker Mattel in 2014, Barbie’s third-quarter sales decreased 14 percent. The new Barbies are on sale now online and will be available in stores this March.

The real question: will children gladly welcome this change or has Barbie waited too long? Only time and the results of this years sales will indicate if the change has been accepted with open arms.

 

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