Barbie has changed a lot since she made her debut way back in 1959. From that retro red lip and striped swimming costume to the modern doll she is today (with a different job for every day of the year - did you know she's a game developer now?! She can code and everything...), one thing has pretty much stayed the same – that body.
But now? In 2016, Barbie got taller, shorter, bigger and darker – all at the same time. Yep, Barbie is finally getting that long-overdue diversity makeover – and she looks AMAZING.
Barbie now has four different body shapes; petite, tall and curvy, alongside the classic Barbie figure. Starting today, you can customise your Barbie’s height and weight, and it doesn’t stop there – Mattel are finally letting Barbie lovers customise the skin tone of the dolls too, from fair right through to dark, as well as switching up the hair texture and hair colour. Barbie with blue hair? It’s now possible, without the need for a dodgy felt-tip dye job.
This change has been a long time coming, Mattel, and it's paid off. Mattel’s shares have risen by about 6%, with a 20% rise in income over their second quarter. The doll developments have been so top-secret only 20 people in the company knew what was happening, under the code name Project Dawn. But why so serious?
Well, as incredible and important as this news is, there’s bound to be backlash. ‘Regular’ Barbie’s clothes won’t fit quite right (another reason for that wardrobe makeover), and there will be some who think a curvy Barbie sends the wrong message (we do not fall into this camp). Mattel have even set up a separate helpline for these new Barbie issues.
But when parents and toymakers have resorted to making their own dolls with periods, birth marks, disabilities and different skin tones to give children something more realistic to play with, it’s clear these new dolls are desperately needed. After all, if we only give boy and girls thin, white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed dolls to play with, how else will they learn that other skin tones, heights and sizes are beautiful and normal too?
Barbie’s wardrobe is undergoing some changes, too. Just last year, Barbie was finally able to kick off her heels after nearly 50 long years, as Mattel introduced flexi-ankles to cope with Barbie's flat shoes.
Barbie's on-off boyfriend, Ken, has also been given an upgrade by online retailer Lyst, who have recreated Barbie's boy in realistic body shapes. Say hello to DadBod Ken, Bearded Hipster Ken and Balding Ken, as well as different Ken heights and races. We definitely recognise a few of these new body types, designed by @jamiephillipstv. While you can't buy the actual dolls, you can shop all the outfits worn by new-gen Ken at lyst.com.
We are SO happy about this amazing news! You can buy the all new Barbie at Barbie.com, but they are said to be in stores soon. Will you be buying one? Let us know below!