For many girls, the first representations they see of a woman, besides women in their family, of course, is the Barbie doll. I had a complete collection of Barbies when I was growing up. But back then, none of them looked like me. Over the years, Mattel has gotten more progressive and inclusive with multiracial and multi-ethnic Barbie dolls, plus Barbies representing career women of all kinds. Like female film directors – remember that Ava DuVernay doll that sold out in 15 minutes last Fall?!
But today comes some big news from Mattel: they’re launching petite, tall and curvy Barbie dolls! The 2016 Barbie® Fashionistas™ Dolls, exclusively available on Mattel Shop, include 7 new dolls each in petite, tall and curvy versions, and 12 original versions as well. The full line of the new dolls will roll out throughout the year and features dolls of 4 body types, 7 skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles, and numerous fashions and accessories.
You may think – they’re just dolls! But to many, it’s another step in the way girls and women represented in our society. “They’re seeing the differences amongst their friends and family, being celebrated,” said Nicole Guice, Mattel Senior Designer. Tania Missad, director of consumer insights commented: “We have to let girls know it doesn’t matter what shape you come in, that anything is possible.” And Robert Best, Senior Director of Product Design (and former Project Runway Season 3 contestant) stated: “This is what our future looks like because this is what the world looks like.”
I love that Mattel is continually adding to their Barbie product line so that young girls can see themselves in dolls that look like them, and aspire to a wider range of careers as well. Of course, dolls are not the only source of inspiration that young girls should be getting, but it’s still important.
What do you think of the launch of these new Petite, Tall and Curvy Barbie Dolls?