For time immemorial Mattel’s signature doll, Barbie, has been romanticized with that pop culture, perfect hourglass figure and of course, plastic beauty. The doll saw a complete body transformation when Y2K hit and thinks kind of got worse.
Even though a majority of young kids have spent afternoons together picking out shoes, dresses and accessories for the doll, it has also been shamed as setting unreal standards for the female body and hated as a brand name that did not live up to the decree of a ‘toy brand’.
Additionally, Barbie dolls even saw major slump of 20% in sales during 2012-14, owing to its negative image in the society and market. But all that’s about to change now.
Mattel has given one of its best-selling and most popular toys a reality check and released three new body shapes for the doll. Not only have people received this change in Barbie, but the doll also made it to the cover of the mush coveted TIME magazine.
Along with being a massive move for the brand and the doll, the company can only hope that this change does not backfire. In the article, author Eliana Dockterman writes: “Adding three new body types now is sure to irritate someone: just picking out the terms petite, tall and curvy, and translating them into dozens of languages without causing offense, took months. And like me, girls will strip curvy Barbie and try to put original Barbie’s clothes on her or swap the skirts of petite and tall.
“Not everything will Velcro shut. Fits will be thrown, exasperated moms will call Mattel. The company is setting up a separate help line just to deal with Project Dawn complaints”, she adds.
But lets face it, what’s a decision without faults and what’s a pro without cons? Sticking to the classic figure was clearly off the table.
Keeping Up With The Kardashian & Others
Also, Mattel’s abovementioned decision couldn’t have come at a better time than this when American – or rather global – standards of beauty are seeing a shift. Curvy celebs including the likes of Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian have taken social media by storm, while divas like Adele and Lena Dunham are proudly embracing their “non ideal” figures.
Collectively, the transformation gives Barbie a variety of diverse looks that better reflect 21st century. To keep the work secret, Mattel officials code-named it “Project Dawn”, so that even their families wouldn’t know that the doll was undergoing the most dramatic body transformation in her 57 year record.
The new body shapes will be sold online starting January 28th at Barbie.com and will appear in retail stores later in 2016.
Did Mattel do the right thing? Which Barbie would you pick classic or revamped? Read the full article by TIME here and let us know what you think.