We all remember playing with Barbie while we were growing up. We were in awe of her beauty and wanted to be just like her when we grew up. The long blonde hair, big blue eyes, small nose, slim waist, and the filled out chest that we thought would officially make us a "big girl." And then there was Ken. Perfect hair, a sharp jawline, broad shoulders, and defined muscles. This was the image we thought we needed to achieve when we were young. If we wanted to be perfect, we HAD to look just like them.
This toxicity has affected children since Barbie came out in 1959. This unrealistic goal to look just like them was often followed by the thought that we weren't perfect, we weren't beautiful, because we didn't look like them. This was the way children grew up for years, damaging their self worth as they kept growing and were disappointed in the way they looked. I remember being upset that I didn't have long perfect hair or a size zero waist.
But now children don't have to grow up like that anymore. Mattel, the company that created Barbie, just released a line of gender-neutral dolls. When hearing this, some people might think Mattel is trying to influence children into believing that they have no gender. But instead, they're letting them dress their own dolls in a way that resonates with them.
Called Creatable World, these dolls are able to be customized to what children want, instead of having a "perfect" doll shoved in their faces. The doll kit comes with short and long hair options, six articles of clothing, three pairs of shoes, and two accessories. These kits have both female and male aspects so that children are able to pick and choose what they truly want instead of sticking to a cookie-cutter doll. The company stated that these dolls give "kids the freedom to create their own customizable characters again and again."
This seems like just another cool toy, but it's more than that. These dolls will make children today feel like there is always a doll for them. They'll never feel like they aren't beautiful if they don't grow up to look like a 'perfect' doll, and they won't constantly judge the way they look when they grow up, like we did. But Mattel is going to change that. Children today will grow up seeing a doll that is realistic and looks like them. They get to feel pretty, they get to feel worthy, they get to feel that there is nothing wrong with them.
Kids today deserve to love themselves when they're older and they deserve to feel comfortable in their own skin. Everyone is beautiful, no matter what that Barbie doll says.