This week Mattel announced that Barbie would now be available in three new sizes- Petite, Tall, and Curvy.
As everyone knows, Barbie has long been the subject of criticism for promoting unrealistic body image for girls. Surprise, surprise, but not all females grow up to be blonde, have big blue eyes, a large chest, tiny waist, long legs, and an even smaller feet.
While Mattel has always deflected body image arguments by emphasizing how they have stood behind female empowerment, Barbie’s broad career choice has not been a good enough answer to why her body is shaped the way it is.
Now Mattel is getting it right. Not only will Barbie be available in all different shapes and sizes, but she will be found in an assortment of skin tones, eye colors, and hairstyles. According to Mattel’s president and COO Richard Dickson, today “Barbie is truly representing what girls see.”
This isn’t the only change in the works for Mattel. Faced with a decline in sales, the large toy company has been forced to improve innovation and start making changes. This entails listening to what many parents and health officials have been saying regarding providing a variety of toys that will give girls and boys more confidence in their own body shapes.
Not only are trends changing in body image, but in gender also. Last year for the first time in Mattel’s history a commercial was aired featuring a boy playing with a Barbie doll.
So let’s give it up for Mattel! It’s about time children were able to play with dolls that showed how beauty can come in any shape, size or color.
Target Audience: Females 16-50 years old, parents of young girls, classmates of MMC 6725.
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