Barbie’s Body


I just did a double take.  Barbie’s got some curves!

The look of Mattel’s Barbie IS CHANGING, and it’s catching up with positive body image awareness.  


The new line of Barbie and friends embraces what I like to call *The Beauty of Distinction*.  

Mattel calls it: The Evolution of Barbie (Feels a little Darwinian?).

T.E.O.B. “This is just the beginning. From offering products that feature more empowering and imaginative roles to partnering with best in class role models, we believe in girls and their limitless potential”. -Mattel 

Their tag Line? #YouCanBeAnything    

Awesome.  Seriously, I do think it’s awesome.

The empowering/career/imaginative roles part of the campaign? NOT GETTING ENOUGH AIR TIME.

But we’ll go ahead and talk about what everyone’s talking about.  You know- the body image part? Great.

Check out Barbie’s New Figure:

Barbie’s New Bod!

Mattel has also just added 3 new body types to their line:








As cool as these dolls look and nice as the marketing campaign’s aspinnin’, there remains a MASSIVE amount of controversy over whether this is a great tool to foster confidence and inspiration in impressionable children or if Mattel has simply recognized an opportunity to glom onto the popularity of the positive body image movement.  

Time Magazine says: 


Err…  I like where their heads are at…Word choice could be better, methinks.  

As for me and Mattel, I’m just glad that the company is creating realistic and diverse looking dolls, regardless of motive.  

What is your opinion of the new and (improved? ) line of dolls? Necessary? A good tool for promoting positive self-worth? I’d like to know what you think of the sudden media flurry over it all.  

All images Sourced From



9 thoughts on “Barbie’s Body

  1. It’s inevitable that the toy industry will follow certain trends to capitalize on something that will be profitable to them. The trend, in this case, is politically correct merchandise that hits a certain target group. (Children) But it also has to appeal to a parental target group, since that’s who sees and buys the product for their kids…and they have to feel it’s a good idea too.

    It has become the trendy thing to do…market to both kids & parents alike, fashion that isn’t just “one size fits all” By having dolls with all sorts of politically correct sizes, it will make it seem like there isn’t only one perfect way for a person to ” look.” Merchandisers have done this from time immemorial. It will surely make a bundle of money and in doing so, kids that are a larger size can relate to their toy and maybe not feel bad about themselves if they aren’t the perfect size. I say MAYBE because, of course, there will always she children very sensitive about their how their bodies appear to other people & what impact it makes on them. And there will always be bullies out there, throwing their judgments around like a big ol’ basket-ball. Bullies, both young AND older. It really should start at home with parents teaching children early in life, respect for other people no matter how they appear… and not put labels on them by how they look. Schools, too, should include programs about diversity and how important it is for them to be the best person they can be by just being themselves. Being individuals. Being proud of the person they are. That requires “responsible parenting.” I’ve always wondered WHY there wasn’t a class one has to take and pass, to prepare one to become a responsible parent. It really begins with just that. So basic but unseen.

    I don’t think it’s a BAD idea for merchandisers to put a line of products out there like this but it will take much more than that if a child has low self-esteem or a predisposition for body dysmorphic disorder to feel good about themselves. It begins in the home. Teach children to appreciate & respect their own bodies and individuality and you’re WAY ahead of the game of life.

  2. Sherrie,

    I loved this comment: well-written and well-said. I agree with your last line wholeheartedly: ‘Teach children to appreciate & respect their own bodies and individuality’.

    I am thinking that in today’s PC society, there may actually be some kind of diversity-curriculum requirement, but I could be wrong.

    Bullies are always going to be bullies, but for me and my poor self-image, I was never bullied. I was the one who was my own worst enemy.

    I made a comment similar to this on Facebook, but I will repeat it here. My problem manifested with my height/size, and the discrepancy between my friends and I. I would have been all over the “Tall” Barbie Body Type if they had her when I was growing up.

    I’ve always felt unattractively “Big” because of my height. I outgrew “pretty” and “dainty” activities like ballet and gymnastics because I became too tall, gangly, uncoordinated, solid.

    The pageants and plays at which I formerly earned “success” as a “cute (read:little) girl) were no longer the appropriate context for my growing frame.

    I couldn’t share clothing with my “itty bitty” short friends, so I automatically equated being my being tall with being fat.

    I think my self-esteem would have benefited from “Tall” Barbie at least a little bit, all other factors constant.

    • I knew you’d have strong feelings about this new “aesthetic”. I want to hear what you think! Please write. Looking forward. 🙂

  3. I think this is great!
    I’d heard about it but this was the first time I went and looked at their website to actually check it out. In addition to the different body types I love that there are Barbies with various hair styles, colors, and skin tones. While I’m sure there’s a PR and profits benefit for Matel its really important for girls to see themselves represented in a positive way. Studies have show that to be the case.
    When only one standard appearance is shown as being beautiful then others are seen as “wrong” by default. Obviously a doll isn’t going to magically fix any issue but this is a great step in the right direction I think.
    I’d also like to see more about their empowerment in terms of “you can be anything” tagline.

  4. Me too, MG.
    I want to see where they take the career/empowerment slant, especially President and Vice President Barbie available this summer! I can’t wait. And the Game Developer and Spy Squad self-images are interesting, too.

  5. It looks weird that curvy Barbie still has stick arms. I like the way they all look different so when they put them together, they actually look like a group of women standing together (different heights, hairstyles, body shapes). Kids get their body image from their parents. My grandma was anorexic (died of it). My dad constantly gave my mom shit for being fat. My mom was always on a diet and/or complaining about being fat. If she’d lost weight or starved, she pronounced herself “good.” If she’d eaten sugar or fat, she’d pronounce herself “bad.” I learned it from them. My mom used to say, “Don’t be a fat ass like your old mom.” She got her wish! The cost has been pretty high, though.

    • That’s shitty, Ima. And profound. I agree that body image comes directly from the environment in which you were raised. I started hating my body around 7, 8 years old and have hated it ever since.

  6. Chubby barbie looks a lot like nicole would if Mattel made a nicole doll “uneducated self obsessed ed suffering barbie” the nicole should come with mangled fingers, and puke breath, a fat dog, and bs Philo book

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