#TheDollEvolves: The Evolution of Barbie

If Barbie were a real woman, then she would be about 6 feet tall and weigh 110 pounds, and her body fat would be so low she would not be able to menstruate. Although Barbie is not real, many children grow up playing with the infamous lean and leggy blonde doll, consciously or subconsciously wishing they could look the same. With Barbie sales falling consecutively for four years, Mattel decided it was time to make some changes. Thus, #TheDollEvolves campaign was born: “Girls everywhere now have infinitely more ways to play out their stories and spark their imaginations through Barbie. Along with more overall diversity, we proudly add three new body types to our line.”

The new 2016 Barbie dolls come in 4 body types, including “Curvy,” “Tall,” and “Petite,” as well as 7 skin tones, 18 eye colors, and 18 hairstyles. Why does this matter? Kjerstin Gruys, a postdoctoral scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, says, “The most consistent thing that predicts healthy body image among girls and boys is developing an openness that bodies come in all shapes and sizes in addition to all textures and colors." With February being Body Awareness Month, Mattel’s change could not have come at a better time.  The new Barbie dolls show that beauty is not a one-size-fits-all deal; beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. This message is especially important this month, but should always be remembered and recognized. 

The 2016 Barbie dolls now come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. 

Barbie's TIME magazine cover.