Christmas shopping time is here, and to many parents of young girls choosing what toys to buy is a carefully made decision. A lot of my friends often talk about the messages toys send to their daughters, and how important it is to them to purchase products which provide their girls with positive examples.
For years, the iconic toy doll Barbie has received some flack for portraying an unrealistic body image to young women. Barbie’s unattainable skinny proportions, perpetually high-heel-ready foot, and blonde hair aren’t realistic to all families, and has caused a concern among proponents of healthy body image.
Just in time for Christmas 2016, this Spring Mattel introduced a new line of Barbies to reflect the diversity of girls who play with them.
Barbie’s line of “Fashionistas” includes four body types: the original, tall, petite, and curvy. The line also features seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 24 hairstyles. This adds to the makeover Barbie got last year when many of the dolls began featuring — gasp — a flat foot! (Finally the girl can relax after a long day in heels.)
In the company’s press release, Senior Vice President and Global General Manager of Barbie, Evelyn Mazzocco said, “We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand – these new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them. We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty.”
Even if the original Barbie didn’t cause direct damage to your kids’ self-esteem, it’s nice to know there are now options. With the Fashionistas line, now girls of all shapes and sizes can relate to the classic doll they play with and perhaps feel some sense of validation. Because with many toys and other kids products, the messages are quite subliminal.
So this holiday season, will you be looking into these new Barbies for the kids in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Image courtesy of BarbieMedia.com