Mattel's Barbie doll has been a major icon in America since 1959. Many women look back on their days of playing with Barbie dolls fondly. I personally remember the fun and memories she brought me. My imagination ran wild thanks to my generous parents who bought me the Dream House, airplane, and remote controlled convertible and Jeep. Although Barbie didn't inspire me to become a communications major, a woman who left a comment on Barbie's official Facebook page stated that Barbie "helped shape her sense of fashion and love for the fashion industry." On the other hand, some have argued that Barbie gives little girls unrealistic body expectations and eventually low self-esteem later on in life.
In Thursday's official launch, Mattel announced that along with the original Barbie, there will now be a petite, tall, and curvy Barbie. All four body types will be available in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 24 hair styles. This allows little girls everywhere to pick the Barbie that best suits them. Many have stated the argument that Mattel has given in to our politically correct culture, and therefore, shouldn't be praised for their actions. Let me take a second here to say if you believe that to be true, you're wrong. I’m willing to bet that you completely missed the fact that these new body types are in addition to, and not replacing, the iconic Barbie most of us grew up with.
I have to admit, a couple of months ago I had a real problem with people trying to change Barbie. She's an icon. She's a doctor, a mom, a nurse, a president, a fashion designer, a pilot, and anything else you can imagine. Although I do have to agree that the majority of the population doesn’t look like a life-sized version of Barbie, there are still some girls out there who do, and there is absolutely no reason you should make them feel bad about that. Stop shaming little girls for playing with a doll. If Barbie is giving your child “unrealistic body expectations” that’s because you left it up to a piece of plastic to teach your child self worth.
I am absolutely ecstatic there is now a tall, petite, and curvy Barbie, but I do applaud Mattel for keeping the original Barbie doll as an option. On a side note, if you truly believed, deep down, that Barbie was giving your daughter unrealistic body expectations before, changing her height won’t solve the problem. Barbie will never have acne, she'll never have roots, she'll never have dark circles under her eyes, and she'll never be bloated. Simply put, Barbie is a toy. She's not going to ruin or save the world. Let the kids play and appreciate that Mattel cares enough about its client base to offer these new options.