- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 10 February 2016
- Written by AMANDA DRENNAN | COPY EDITOR
Since 1959 Barbie has been known her as the doll who was tall, blonde, skinny, and essentially the definition of perfect. Barbie literally has it all. There is not one package of accessories I can think of that doesn’t exist. There is everything from Malibu Barbie to President Barbie; is there anything she can’t do? This figure is someone that most young girls have wanted to be because she has always had the freedom to be whatever she wanted to be.
Barbie has obviously played a role in the way young girls view their bodies. No matter the age, girls are concerned with their weight, and having a Barbie doll with an unrealistic body doesn’t help. Barbie’s image isn’t the only thing that would influence girls to think their bodies aren’t “normal.”
When you look back to Slumber Party Barbie, she came with a scale set to 110 pounds. She also came with a book about how to lose weight and the only thing written in it was “DON’T EAT!” It’s very true that a Barbie doll acts as a role model to many young girls. This was sending the wrong message to girls, telling encouraging them not to eat and providing them the “perfect” weight. There have even been lawsuits against Mattel, the company that makes Barbie, because of the image they are presenting to girls to be a standard.
When playing with their dolls, children create their own fantasy world and for many, Barbie is the main character. I think it is about time Barbie dolls started looking like the kids who play with them. If they don’t look like this ideal figure, they could become unsure of their own bodies.
Just recently the Barbie doll has had a major transformation. After over 50 years of her signature look, new looks have been introduced. The Mattel Company decided that they were going to allow Barbie’s look to be more versatile. There are over 33 new dolls, and Mattel is calling it an evolution.
I think the changes made to Barbie dolls is going to have a great impact on young girls and the way they view themselves. I know when I was growing up and playing with dolls, I wanted to live that kind of fantasy life. She could do anything she wanted, which made me think I could do anything I wanted.
I think the new image Barbie is portraying will help young girls to realize that not everyone looks the same. The new look is refreshing and it’s good to see the company not set a specific standard of how everyone should look. I think this major change in the Barbie doll can only have a positive impact. The new dolls vary in body type, race, and different hair color. More young girls are able to identify with the new body types, and see themselves in Barbie.
The dolls come in tall, petite, curvy, and original. They also come in many different skin tones and hairstyles. The change allows young girls to feel like they can be anything and do everything, just like Barbie. After all, Barbie’s new catch phrase is, “Imagine the Possibilities.”