Mattel has just revealed their new Barbie “Fashionistas” dolls that activists and the company are calling “reflective of the world (girls) see today.”(hey, boys can play with Barbies too!) Parents and collectors alike can now pre order them online, which come in “Petite,” “Curvy,” “Tall,” and “Original” body types. There are precisely 7 skin tones, 22 eye colours, and 24 hairstyles.
I’m really loving the curvy, tall, and short body types. Regrettably, Mattel, I’ve still got a bone to pick with you.
First off: gingers(or redheads.) There are two dolls; one with brilliant vermillion hair, the other a more orangey shade, with (supposedly) natural red hair. This is great–orange hair is a recessive gene, making gingers a minority(1-2% of the population), and even people of color can have this trait. Gingers with white skin are usually quite fair-skinned. Freckles, moles, Rosacea, and other kinds of discoloration are common among this group. The orange haired doll has a few moles on her face, so bravo to the creator. The doll with red, red hair has uniform skin. I had a friend with hair naturally that colour, and she was covered in (wonderful)freckles. This isn’t to say that all people with red hair are freckle-covered, but I think we can all agree that many fair skinned people have moles, ruddy skin, and freckles galore. Especially with such red hair and the skin that typically goes with it. I would love to see a Barbie Doll with even a peppering of freckles across the bridge of her nose and cheekbones–plenty of kids and adults look like this, as opposed to the even-skinned dolls Barbie has always sold.
Secondly, Barbie needs to lay off the Rhinoplasty. Every freaking doll has a tiny “button” nose. My dog has a (relatively)bigger nose than any Barbie–and he’s a Pug, who has
trouble breathing if the temperature changes too much. Noses come in all sorts of sizes and shapes–just like the rest of our bodies. For most of my childhood and teen years, I was incredibly dissatisfied with my big, “ugly” nose. There is no famous woman I can think of(other than Uma Thurman) that has a nose typically considered “unappealing.” By the way, Thurman still gets slammed for her appearance, when she isn’t even in the spotlight. Can you imagine how strange it would be, to grow up never seeing somebody who looked like you? Point made, moving on.
One last thing I’d like to mention is that the proportions of Barbie are still unrealistic. For example, “Petite” does not always mean skinny. The “Petite” sized dolls are like a shorter version of the “Original” Barbie. Do the creators of Barbie actually think everyone under 5’4(and over 6ft, for that matter) is super skinny? I’d suggest adding “Petite Curvy” and “Tall Curvy” Dolls to the mix at a later date.
Honorable Mentions and Positive Highlights of the New Barbies: