Barbie Will Now Come in Different Sizes: Tall, Curvy and Petite
— Barbie (@Barbie) January 28, 2016
Mattel has made the conscious decision to evolve along with its demographic. Barbie, the best-selling doll of all time, will now come in three distinct body types — tall, petite and curvy — all of which differ from its original incarnation.
The rising popularity of the body acceptance movement, combined with plummeting sales and an increased pressure against Mattel to get more realistic with Barbie’s insane proportions caused the company to rethink and reimagine the doll’s classic silhouette.
After a 20% decrease in sales over the course of two years (2012 to 2014), the brand attempted to appeal to its ever-changing consumer, thus rethinking Barbie’s image. “The millennial mom is a small part of our consumer base, but we recognize she’s the future,” said head of Barbie, Evelyn Mazzocco, in a cover story with TIME.
But Mattel president and COO Richard Dickson says Barbie’s ultimate mission has been misconstrued and misunderstood by the public over time: “Our brand represents female empowerment. It’s about choices. Barbie had careers at a time when women were restricted to being just housewives. Ironically, our critics are the very people who should embrace us.”
The criticism against Barbie’s iconic waif-like figure is nothing new, but with a wide variety of body shapes, skin tones and hair styles and textures, Mattel is looking to make Barbie more relatable to the every-girl.
“Ultimately, haters are going to hate,” Dickson said. “We want to make sure the Barbie lovers love us more—and perhaps changing the people who are negative to neutral. That would be nice.”
The new dolls are set to appear in retail stores later this year but are currently available to order online from Barbie’s official site.