The New Barbies

Barbie Shaped My Idea Of Womanhood, And I Actually Hope They Will For My Future Daughter Too

From inclusive doll lines to mental health vlogs.

Barbie on YouTube

Barbie has been a household staple for as long as most people can remember. The collection of Barbie dolls I had growing up was a collection of the dolls my mom had bought my sister and I, the dolls my mom had growing up and the dolls my grandmother had growing up. Three generations of Barbie dolls sat in my room. Three generations of Barbie dolls helped to shape my idea of womanhood.

The bulk of Barbie dolls I saw growing up were what you normally think of when you think of Barbie dolls-- the fashionistas, the beach girls, things like that. However, when I was a little older, I got one doll and absolutely lost my mind over how much in love with it I was. It was a pediatrician Barbie. It was what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was the first time I remember Barbie or one of the Barbie sets being sold as a scientist or doctor or something other than "girly."

Then, last year, I broke down crying in the Barbie aisle of a Target because they were selling an "all female ticket" set. It was two Barbie dolls in professional clothing running for president and vice president, respectively. I hadn't seen a Barbie in a while and suddenly seeing such progressive dolls when they usually tend to be more stereotypical made me lose it.

Then I started seeing Barbie's vlogs pop up on my Twitter timeline, so I started to look into what Barbie was up to nowadays.

Mattel has introduced the "Fashionistas" to the Barbie collection. This collection consists of Barbie's of different shapes, including plus sized Barbies, and Barbies with different skin tones. It also introduces different Ken dolls. They have three different Ken body types-- original, broad and slim. Ken dolls also now come in different skin tones. This is a big change for Barbie. The first dolls of color I remember seeing from Barbie were the MyScene dolls. They were multi-ethnic, and people said the resembled the Bratz dolls.

Barbie's new "Fashionistas" line.

However, up until now, I don't remember seeing any dolls of different sizes. The move to make Barbies in different sizes is a big one, considering Barbie's size is one of the most iconic things about her. Having little girls and young teens seeing their sizes being represented is huge in promoting body positivity and acceptance from a young age. It can also help to reduce the need younger girls have to attain a doll-like figure.

They have also introduced a Role Models line, consisting of powerful and inspirational women from all over the world. Some of the dolls include Frida Kahlo, Patty Jenkins, Bindi Irwin, and Katherine Johnson.

Some of the dolls in the "Role Models" collection.

Barbie is also now a vlogger. At first, I thought this was just going to be a cheap way for the company to appeal to younger kids and get in on the trends, but once I sat down and watched a few of them, I was really impressed. The vlogs depict Barbie as a teenager living in Malibu. They are filmed in her bedroom and sometimes feature her friends or her boyfriend, Ken of course. They're animated (but a lot better animated than the old Barbie movies). There are some that are just basic YouTube trends like "My Boyfriend Does My Makeup," and "10 Things About Me," but there are also some deeper ones.

She has some that discuss the "dream gap," the time when girls between the ages of 6 and 7 start to doubt their intelligence. She also has some about the sorry reflex, making our voices count, mental health and so much more. Considering that they could have used this Barbie vlogging idea to just make a quick buck, but have instead used it to encourage young girls and teach them valuable lessons, shows you what the company is about.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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