This week, the most iconic and influential doll, Barbie, debuted 33 new looks and finally addressed its unequal representation of beauty. It's been a long time coming. According to TIME, Mattel (the maker of Barbie) stated that introducing more variety to the line offers "girls better choices that are more reflective of the world we see today."
These new Barbies all have different hair colors and styles, body types, and heights. Barbies are now tall, petite, or curvy and the doll that has gotten hate for having an unrealistic body image now looks like the rest of us. The transition began last year when Mattel released a broad assortment of dolls with a greater number of skin tones, eye colors, and hair styles.
Society has always seen Barbie as the source of many insecurities and body image issues in young girls and teenagers. Barbie was always an unrealistic vision of what a beautiful woman should look like, but that will hopefully no longer be the case.
Children's minds are like sponges and they are the most impressionable in their early years of childhood. Decades of research show that children absorb messages about their body image from the toys that they play with. Many studies have also found that girls who were exposed to Barbie have lower self-esteem and are more likely to strive for that impossible body type.
This new line of Barbie dolls is the first legitimate change that Mattel has made in order to steer this doll in a different direction. These new Barbie dolls give off a more positive and accepting image to the children who will soon be playing with them. Children need to see the range in sizes, skin tone, and hair color.
Hopefully, insecure teenagers will turn into secure teenagers. Girls can accept the fact that there isn't only one image for the definition of "beautiful." Barbie's unrealistic features were just a few of the many factors that caused eating disorders in teenagers. Now, society is taking steps to eliminate the factors that cause these issues in teens and adults and these small steps look promising. Society is better off for having such a controlling brand finally show that there are many different definitions of beauty.
Barbie is no longer one-size-fits-all.