You are here

The New Barbie Is Body Positive (And Curvy!)

Barbie Instagram

Tissue-box furniture, tiny houses, and a slim figure were all part of the make-believe world that Barbie lived in for 57 years—but times have changed. Our favorite celebs (like Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer, to name a few) are speaking out about Photoshop and body shaming, and promoting body love no matter your shape or size (see them in these nearly naked (and totally inspiring) photos). We couldn't be more excited about the body-positive movement. And now, Mattel is finally on board; they just released three new body types—tall, curvy, and petite—to mark the biggest-ever change in Barbie.

The doll has had a history of backlash. She came with a diet book in 1963 that recommended "don't eat," and seven years later Berkely feminists set her on fire. In 1992, Mattel got blasted for Barbie's dialogue that, "math class is tough." A 2006 study of 5- to 8-year-old girls published in Developmental Psychology showed that young girls exposed to Barbie reported lower body esteem and a greater desire for a thinner body shape than girls who played with other dolls or no dolls at all. When the positive body-image doll, Lammily, was announced in 2013, the message to Mattel was clear: American beauty standards are changing, and it's about time Barbie did too.

To be fair, Mattel has made moves to evolve and empower Barbie before. Astronaut Barbie was released in 1965 and she ran for president three different times, most recently in 2004. She even broke up with Ken that year to prove that she's a strong independent woman who doesn't need a man doll riding shotgun in her convertible. Mattel introduced black, Latina, and international Barbies in 1980, and last year, they released dolls with new skin tones and hair textures.

No matter your opinion of the iconic doll, this change marks a huge victory for the body-positive movement and solidifies the idea that skinny isn't everything. We'll cheers (with pink miniature cups) to that.


Add a comment