When I was a child, going to Walmart was one of my favorite things to do. Although we only went to go food shopping, I would quickly find a way to stray from my mother and scurry off to my favorite isle in the store…. the Barbie Doll isle.
With eyes wide I would scan all the bright boxes of pink and purple, searching for the prettiest, most perfect doll to add to my budding collection. When I found her, I’d smile and hurry to run back to my mom with the box pressed against my chest.
With pride I’d hold the doll up to her hoping she’d buy it for me. She’d almost always reply with:
“Why couldn’t have found a black one?”
We all grew up understanding the image of Mattel’s Barbie Dolls, often before we were old enough to appreciate our own bodies. We knew what perfection looked like, and most often it didn’t reflect the girl we saw in the mirror. Yet, we were all insatiably drawn to that glorious It Girl propped up in a pink cardboard box, wondering if one day we too could be just like her no matter how anatomically impossible.
Well it seems that after many years, that day may have just come.
Today Mattel has debuted a much more diverse line of Barbie’s which includes dolls of the curvy, tall, and petite persuasion. Not only do they sport more modern molds, but they also embrace a variety of hair styles including natural curls and shaved mohawks. (There’s even one with beautiful dark chocolate skin!)
In a promotional video for “The Evolution of Barbie” movement, Director of Consumer Rights Tania Missad says:
“We have to let girls know, it doesn’t matter what shape you come in. Anything is possible.”
I completely agree! Today girls are struggling with body image, eating disorders, and mental health at a much younger age, influenced by propaganda that trains them to believe different is ugly. Now they can find a doll that isn’t so perfect. Now they can find a doll they can relate to. I mean, even I was able to pick out two dolls that look just like two of my close friends in college.
To say I am here for this change would be a gross understatement. I AM ABOVE AND BEYOND FOR THIS CHANGE! It’s so beautiful for Barbie to acknowledge and include the shapes and sizes of women that society often deems unattractive. It is high time that girls have a more realistic image of beauty to look up to, and I applaud the company for attempting to set a new standard.