When we were little we played with our Barbie doll all the time. We loved brushing her hair and changing her outfits, we loved putting her in new homes or on the airplane. Barbie represented our favorite childhood toy. But the Barbie we played with came in one size: extremely skinny and tall. The Barbie dolls we played with had different colored hair and different hairstyles, but their bodies were the exact same size. Mattel has now announced that Barbie will be made in different shapes and heights, skin colors and hair colors.
As a kid we didn’t really notice that Barbie’s body type was so different from young women that we were around; we just liked having a doll to play with after school. But now that we are older and we see how important body image has become to our society, we’ve begun to see how unrealistically sized our favorite doll was. When we were little girls we didn’t focus on how skinny our stomach was, or how perfectly fixed our hair had to be, or how long our legs needed to be, we just put on the outfit our mom picked out that morning or rummaged through our closet and picked something out. But at this age, our society is consumed with outward appearances. Mattel now feels like they need to introduce "more variety into the line” and that “Barbie is offering girls choices that are better reflective of the world they see today.” Today we see young women of all different sizes and colors, so Mattel has created Barbie dolls that are tall, curvy, and petite.
I am glad that Mattel has added new variety to our favorite doll, but not because I think we need to focus more on our body image through the eyes of society, but because it represents the originality in every single person. Each person is created differently with a unique personality and body; we don’t need to be like everyone else around us. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well (Psalm 139:14, NKJV).” I do not need to focus on my body or what I look like in comparison to other people because my Creator made me just the way He wanted me.
Barbie dolls now represent the uniqueness in every girl; it shows us that we do not need to fit one mold, but that each person has so much more to focus on than their looks. I hope that little girls now won’t worry about trying to look like any of the 33 Barbie dolls they see around them, but that they will focus on their character, their words and the way they act. I hope they want to grow up into godly young women who are ambitious and determined, not self-centered and self-conscious because, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30)."