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The Lookout | December 13, 2018

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New Barbie doll styles promote realistic appearances

New Barbie doll styles promote realistic appearances
The Lookout

If the Shue Fits-

For the first time in over 50 years, Barbie has gotten a makeover.

In response to growing concern over body image and equal representation, Mattel artists have redesigned Barbie’s body and design so that it “includes 4 body types, 7 skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles, and countless on-trend fashions and accessories,” according to

The new line, called the “2016 Barbie Fashionistas Dolls,” comes in four body types: original, curvy, tall and petite.

OK, if you haven’t seen these dolls yet, they are worth checking out. I cannot find the words to express how important this new Barbie line is for children everywhere.

Barbie has been criticized for a long time for representing unattainable body standards and less than diverse skin tones, races and ethnicities.

Now, children have so many more options to find the body that looks like them or their family members. This creates a new sense of realism; that each body type can be the symbol of beauty and feminine power that Barbie has often embodied.

Granted, the new body shapes now pose the problem of accessories not fitting every doll, but the sheer progressiveness of this line and the impact it can make on the self-esteem of children vastly outweighs this inconvenience.

I am beyond excited for this new wave of body representation. Too many people have body image insecurities and/or have trouble finding representation of what they look like.

I can only hope that Mattel does the same thing with Ken, so more people can find validation in the diversity of body types.

The new dolls are available on for $9.99 each. To learn more about the design process of the 2016 Barbie Fashionistas Dolls, visit

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