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Barbie’s New Look

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Barbie’s New Look

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With her pin straight platinum blonde hair and sky blue eyes, Barbie was the first realistic adult looking doll who made her debut in America in 1959. She quickly became every girl’s favorite toy to play with but mothers were skeptical of her over sexualized and unrealistic body shape. For 57 years, Barbie has been an inspiration and a role model to girls of all ages. She represents independence and ambition but as people got older they realized that all she really represents is unattainable perfection.

“You look like a Barbie” is, to many, a nice compliment to receive because in today’s society, Barbie is considered to be the ideal image of beauty. In addition to her perfect hair, made-up face, and sparkling white smile, Barbie’s body is one that most women would die to have. It is said that if Barbie was a real person she would be 5 foot 9, have an 18 inch waist, 33 inch hips, size 3 feet and probably weigh 115 pounds. That is far from average and many believe that she has set these impractical standards for young girls that might even affect their confidence later on in their life.
Recently Mattel has realized the huge impact the doll has on young girls self esteem and have made the conscious decision to broaden and expand Barbies “look.” They have created more realistic looking dolls that are curvy, short, tall, and petite. They have also widened their range of skin and hair colors, hair types, and face shapes. According to a video made by BuzzFeed, that captured kids reactions to these new dolls, one boy said “people can now see the resemblance of them in these type of dolls.” Another kid continued by saying “there is really no average body type but all of these Barbies are different which sort of represent the difference of people in real life.” Reactions have been predominantly positive. Josh Puma, junior at WVHS, said, “This could be a game changer for the next generation. This can really be beneficial for females’ confidence.”
Some may say that “it’s just a doll” while others will say she is so much more than that. Barbie is an icon in American culture and Mattel made the right choice making these big changes. Not only did these new barbies increase their sales, they also hopped on the anti-body shame train that is set to create a new generation of confident, self-loving girls. Sophomore at WVHS, Isaiah Sainte-Rose said, “I want my little sister, who is now almost three, to play with these new Barbies. I want her to know that she can have confidence no matter what.”
“I think Mattel did a great job by creating these new Barbie’s. Teenage girl’s today, grew up playing with all their Barbie’s looking the same and now, even as young adults, they have the same mentality that all girls have to look the same to be accepted as beautiful. These new Barbie’s really embrace the beauty in diversity” commented sophomore Dominique Perkins.
For generations, the beauty standards have been set high from American icons such as famous models and actors, and even Barbie’s. Mattel and other companies have been making small changes like this which will help make big changes in the world in the long run. Because of these small changes to fake Barbie’s facade, real people are becoming more accepting of themselves and others.

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Barbie’s New Look