Mattel is Making More Changes to Barbie to Make Her More Diverse
For a doll that was once believed to be perfect, she sure does undergo a lot of makeovers.
Mattel Inc. is rolling out another line of Barbies this year in an effort to diversify their product. Last year, the classic doll underwent an ethnicity makeover, releasing it's Barbie Fashionistas line, and this year we will see even more changes. You will now be able to purchase Barbies who are tall, curvy and petite. In addition, Barbies will include seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 different hairstyles. Now you can scan the shelves looking for the perfect combination that is you.
It is literally the equivalent of picking out a light up key chain with your name on it while on vacation.
It's also an effort to save the brand. The doll giant has seen overall sales slump for the last eight straight quarters, falling 14 percent last year alone. Barbie has been criticized for being thin, blond and blue-eyed, thus creating a false image of what beauty is.
I believe that all women are beautiful.
When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to be Jasmine from Aladdin. She was stunning with her big, bold eyes and beautiful, long hair, but she was also strong, compassionate and not afraid to be with the one she loved. Plus, she owned a tiger... Hello! My parents gave me an Aladdin-themed birthday party when I was a kid and I got a Jasmine Barbie doll. I loooved her more than all of my other dozens of Barbies.
I don't look anything like Jasmine.
I'm blond and blue-eyed. I'm not super skinny and I'm not tall. Did this change my thoughts on the doll? Of course, not. She was a doll. I knew that. I knew that she was a piece of plastic whose arms were stuck bent and, if you lived in my house, had no neck because someone's brother ripped it off and daddy had to jam it back in place.
I know what you're thinking, "She looks like Barbie, she has no room to complain." And maybe I don't. However, I think we are missing the fact that Barbie is just a toy. She does not define who we are. Playing with her does not make us good or bad. The Barbie we select to play with does not make us pretty or ugly.
She is the instrument of a child's imagination.
It's what Barbie can be that we should focus on. Barbie can fly a plane, ride a horse, be Miss America, visit the moon, etc. That is the message we're missing. Besides, beauty is not defined by what's on the outside. Barbie is beautiful because she has the confidence to go out and pursue her dreams. Confidence cannot be contained inside a piece of plastic, nor is it confined to a toy store shelf.
All women are beautiful because of what we possess inside of us.