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You Might Finally Be Able to Buy a Barbie That Looks Like You

Every body is beautiful, and after over 50 years of being critcized for marketing the same homogenous Barbie dolls, Mattel finally listened. On Thursday, the toy company revealed to the world three new Barbie dolls, each with a different body type: tall, curvy and petite. In addition to the announcement of Barbie’s new bodies, Mattel also announced that the iconic doll will now come with a variety of skin tones and hair textures.

“For more than 55 years, Barbie has been a global, cultural icon and a source of inspiration and imagination to millions of girls around the world,” Mattel’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Richard Dickson, said in a press release. “Barbie reflects the world girls see around them. Her ability to evolve and grow with the times, while staying true to her spirit, is central to why Barbie is the number one fashion doll in the world.”

The changes come as a response to the frequent requests from consumers for dolls to be more diverse, and to reflect a greater number of the infinite ways girls can look. As Victoria M. Massie writes in Vox, whether or not you see yourself represented in the toys you play with can affect your self esteem. Only making white, stick-thin dolls makes it seem like that’s the only way to be beautiful. For two years, the company has been looking into ways to transform the doll, giving her an image that is more realistic. Just last year, they introduced more skin tones and hair textures, as well as a new, flat-footed Barbie that can put her feet into flat shoes as opposed to high heels.

“We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand,” said Evelyn Mazzocco, senior vice president and global general manager of the Barbie 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.”

According to Mattel, by the end of the year we should expect to see 33 new dolls. The 2016 Barbie will come with four total body types, seven different skin tones, 30 hair colors and 22 eye colors to choose from. The new dolls are now available online starting at $9.99 and will be hitting the shelves March 1. 

Danielle is a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in English and minoring in Sociology. You can usually find her dividing her time between being Campus Correspondent of Her Campus UGA, binge-watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix and daydreaming about being one of Beyonce's backup dancers. If you want to know more about Danielle, you can follow her on Instagram (@danielleknecole_) or Twitter (@DanielleKnecole).
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