After 55 years, Barbie gets a body-positive makeover


Barbie is get a makeover, but she’s not just get a haircutor a new wardrobe. This time, shes get a new bodymore specifically, three new bodies.

Mattel, the plaything company behind the iconic doll, announced on Thursday that after more than half a century, it will give Barbie the body-positive revamp that people had been calling for for years. The once strictly blonde, disproportionate doll will now be produced as tall, curvy and petite, with a variety of skintones, hairstyles and outfits.

Barbie has already taken on new media, with an Instagram account that boasts 1.2 million followers. But she’s back to old media with a TIME magazine cover storyrevealing her new body forms have been in the works for two years under a top-secret project: “Project Dawn.”

What a humbling moment for #Barbie and this is just the beginning #TheDollEvolves #barbiestyle

A photo posted by Barbie (@ barbiestyle) on Jan 28, 2016 at 6:09 am PST

In the official announcement, Richard Dickson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mattel, says that Barbie is changing with the times:

“For more than 55 years, Barbie has remained a global, culture icon and a source of inspiration and imagination to millions of daughters around the world. Barbie has reflected the world daughters see around them. Her ability to evolve and grow with the times, while remaining true to her spirit, is central to why Barbie has remained the number one fashion doll in world.”

For some, however, Barbie has not evolved quickly enough. Lego outdid Mattel as the biggest plaything company in the world in 2014, and Hasbro won the Disney Princess business away from Mattel: two major blows in a short stretching. It’s what Evelyn Mazzocco, General Manager at Barbie , now calls “softness in sales.” And in that same year, Kim Culmone, Barbies result decorator, was singing a quite different tune. From Fast Co. Design :

Would you ever release a Barbie that was a most realistic proportion? Or could that not be a Barbie because the fashion wouldn’t be the same on her?

It would depend on the objective. So to me, there isnt an objective to change the proportion of Barbie currently. And to little girls, they are putting themselves in that doll anyway. You have to remember that girls perceptions are so different than grown ups perceptions about what real is and what real isnt, and what the influences are .

But no sooner did she tell “Barbies body was never designed to be realistic” did the team start dreaming up the 7 skin tones, 22 eye colours, 24 hairstyles and textures that will make up the new Barbies, available now online. Original Barbie is also still available.

The company tells it recognized that millennial moms are concerned about what toys in their household “signify, ” and that with celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and Christina Hendricks setting new standards for beauty, it only made sense for Barbie to follow suit.

“Were in a position of progress , not perfection right now, ” Jess Weiner, Social Messaging Strategist at Mattel, tells in a video for TIME. ” And that’s okay.”

Screengrab via Mattel

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