With sales plummeting and Frozen’s Elsa taking over as the most popular toy for young girls, Mattel have redesigned Barbie. Three new body types – curvy, tall and petite – are available at shop.mattel.com (and yep, they ship to Australia). And it’s not just her body that’s been made over; variable skin tones and hair colours are available too. Diverse!
The sizes didn’t come easily…
But the initiative could also backfire—if it’s not too late altogether. 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.
Barbie’s origins are *cough* promiscuous…
Barbie has courted controversy since her birth. Her creator, Ruth Handler, based Barbie’s body on a German doll called Lilli, a prostitute gag gift handed out at bachelor parties.
She’s no stranger to controversy,,,
Mattel argues that the criticism was misplaced—that Barbie was a businesswoman in 1963, an astronaut in 1965 and a surgeon in 1973 when 9% of all doctors were women. “Our brand represents female empowerment,” argues Dickson. “It’s about choices. Barbie had careers at a time when women were restricted to being just housewives. Ironically, our critics are the very people who should embrace us.”
It’s a fantastic read. Click here for the whole story.