Fashionista Barbie

When I was younger, despite having access to my older brother’s LEGOs and racecars, I favored one type of toy- Barbie.  I used to play with my Barbie for hours, brushing her hair and dressing her up.  Barbie has a “look” with which everyone is familiar.  Despite the fact that I am also Caucasian, that is where my similarities with Barbie end.  I have brown hair while hers is blonde, green eyes to her blue ones, and I spent most of my childhood being shorter and rounder than my peers.  Although I grew out of playing with dolls for many reasons, one of the reasons was realizing that I didn’t look anything like my formerly beloved Barbie doll.

This spring, Mattel is launching a new line of Barbie- the Fashionista Barbie.  The Fashionista Barbie will feature a plethora of options for skin tones (seven choices), eye color (22 choices), hair color (30 choices), hair style (24 choice), face shape (14 choices)… and body type.  Yes, Barbie is finally going to have options other than the unrealistic version that has existed for decades.  She will now be available in tall, petite, and curvy.

In short, I love this new line of Barbie.  Throughout daily life, you are bombarded with expectations about how you should look.  Young children are exposed to these messages at a young age from their surroundings, which includes, among many other things, their toys.  Having the opportunity to promote a healthy body image from a young age is a remarkable accomplishment.  Children do not innately hate their bodies, but rather, they are conditioned to do so.  One of my favorite parts of this article is that when playing with the new curvy body, one of the children describes her body as being “stronger”.  In addition to body type, Mattel also took this opportunity to ensure that other features of Barbie will be customizable, ensuring that a larger number of children will be able to relate to the new dolls.  Although it was years in the making, hopefully the Fashionista Barbie will provide a venue to promote healthy body image and acceptance for children from a young age!


2 thoughts on “Fashionista Barbie

  1. Seeing this brought me so much joy! I honestly feel really happy that they have finally started something like this. As a child, I couldn’t relate myself to how Barbie looked. Different hair texture, different body shape, different skin color. Other girls who shared the same skin tone could relate to Barbie and make her dress like they would. I am Nigerian, and she didn’t look like me. There was always that barrier, which made me stop playing with Barbie. I stumbled upon one man who made his own line of barbies that were Black where each Barbie came with their own African outfits beffiting for the country they were trying to represent. I wondered to myself, “Why can’t Barbies from Mattel take a hint and do something like this?” And then here you have it! The fact that so many more ethnicities are being embraced really makes me happy, too! Future girls can find a doll that looks like them, is shaped like them, and represents how beautiful they already are. Well done, Mattel!
    Thank you for writing this article! Such great news! 🙂


  2. I agree with the previous commenter rezidays, I was glad to hear that Mattel was coming out with a line of more diverse Barbies!
    I think that a more customizable Barbie is a wonderful idea to reach out to girls of all shapes and sizes. Playing with these types of dolls that are better suited to each child provides a great chance to build a positive body image early on in life.
    I have been petite for most of my life, so hearing about Barbies of different heights is fabulous news to me! I always found Barbie a bit too tall and thin to properly relate to.
    Thank you for the well written article!


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