Barbie, ever the icon, has changed a lot since she first debuted in 1959. She’s had her fair share of controversy, with parents raising their concerns over the doll’s perfect features. One of the biggest issues raised by parents was that the doll made little girls everywhere have unrealistic body expectations, which harmed the girls well after they’ve outgrown their dolls. So, in an effort to address these issues and become more relatable, Mattel began creating out more progressive versions of their iconic toy.
The brand’s been busy wowing us with every release of a new, wonderfully inclusive doll. For starters they finally gave the doll a realistic waist line then got with the times with a gender neutral collection. These landmark versions of the blonde, hourglass-figured toy are just a few great examples of the doll’s wonderful changes. In fact, for the past 5 years, dedicated fans have noted that the doll has introduced more than 170 new dolls that showcase 5 different body types, 22 skin tones, 76 hair styles, 94 hair colors and 13 different eye colors!
“The most diverse doll line.”
The latest addition to the Barbie Fashionistas line is a doll with Vitiligo
But more than adjusting the superficial attributes, Mattel has begun broadening the doll’s scope by representing those with disabilities. Our favorite doll has been spotted in a wheelchair and even sporting a prosthetic leg recently, and we can only imagine the comfort it brought to children in such situations. Everyone’s finally getting a doll they can relate to. And this year, Mattel is introducing two truly rare dolls into their collection.
This year, a doll with Vitiligo will be joining the brand’s gorgeous collection together with a Ken doll that, for the first time in history, has long hair. The doll with Vitiligo was born thanks to the fans’ requests. Mattel spent much time developing her and making sure that they got her right. In fact, the designers consulted a dermatologist to make sure that they portrayed the condition properly. Lisa McKnight, Mattel’s vice president and global head, said:
“We are proud that Barbie is the most diverse doll that continues to evolve to better reflect the world girls see around them.”
Vitiligo is a condition caused by loss of pigmentation in the skin. It creates contrasting patterns on the person’s skin. The effect is both mesmerizing and shocking. A lot of people with vitiligo don’t really feel confident about themselves because of the way society reacts to their appearance. However, we’ve been seeing a lot of strong people owning their condition and winning. This new doll will certainly help kids with vitiligo develop a more positive outlook with themselves!
Ken’s got long hair
Ken just got a dreamy ‘do! Thanks to man buns and long hairstyles for men, Mattel has finally blessed us with a long haired Ken doll. It’s the perfect way of embracing our society’s gender-fluid belief system. This new Ken doll comes with a chill tie-dye sleeveless shirt, short jean pants and stylish white sneakers. We can’t agree more with Mattel’s way of showing younger generations that beauty comes in many different ways. They honestly make me want to start collecting dolls again!
You can also check out the full collection on Mattel’s online store.