Barbie has come a long way since its first dolls launched in 1959. From the disproportionate, long-legged, impossibly skinny blonde, Barbie now represents more realistic body shapes and sizes, heights, ethnicities and abilities.
A hairless Barbie, another with prosthetic limbs, and another with vitiligo, a condition that causes patches of skin to lose melanin. They are among several new additions to the Barbie Fashionistas line being hailed as Mattel’s “most diverse doll line” that features “more skin tones, hair types and body shapes than ever before.”
Mattel said in a statement that the brand wants to showcase "a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion."
We’d say they’re doing pretty well considering there are now more than 170 dolls that come in five body types, 22 skin tones, 94 hair colours and 13 eye colours. And it doesn’t stop at Barbie. The Ken doll too has gotten a revamp with this release, as we now have a Ken doll with long rooted hair and the first-ever redhead Ken.
“We are proud that Barbie is the most diverse doll line on the market that continues to evolve to better reflect the world girls see around them,” says Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of Barbie and dolls portfolio at Mattel.
“I think this is the best thing that could happen for children,” said Stella Pavlides, president and chief executive of the American Vitiligo Research Foundation in Clearwater, Florida, an advocacy group for people with the condition.