Monday, February 8, 2016

Have you met the new Barbie?

We all know the 'good old' Barbie, Mattel's blonde skinny stick figure doll with the itty bitty waist, perfect perky boobs, endless legs and last but not least perfectly pointed toes ready to wear whatever monstrously high heels she came with. Not a very empowering impression of a real woman. 

I don't know about you, but I grew up with a whole army of Barbies. I envied that doll sometimes. Not only did she have the perfect body, but who would not want to be rolling around in a hot pink convertible, living in a pink dream house and by far my favorite.... Have an enormous closet with fashionable outfits for every occasion and gorgeous heels in every shape, size and color. Although after getting older the first three may have become less attractive, I have to admit that I'm definitely working on the last one. Ha! 

Over the years there have been many articles written about the effects of Mattel's unrealistic portrayals of the female body on girls body image. Of course we're not just talking about Barbie here, because don't even get me started on the women that walk the runway all over the world. Or the picture Disney has painted with their princesses, that's definitely a topic for another time. 

Thankfully over the last few years there has been a movement toward more body conscious and positive body image publicity. One of the first brands that stole the spotlight when it comes to their real women campaigns was Dove. I loved their commercials with actual beautiful full women. And can I also give a huge shout out to France for passing a bill banning 'excessively thin' runway models in December 2015?! Companies who hire models with a BMI under the acceptable limit could face fines over $75.000 and up to six months in jail. 

So now Mattel has joined the list of companies (and countries) fighting for more positive body imaging. Because this last week they introduced three brand spanking new Barbie shapes. 

Meet the new Barbie; Tall, Petite and Curvy. I know that as soon as the red headed curvy Barbie goes on sale, I will definitely get one. And not just because I can identify more with this realistic doll, more because when I have a daughter I would want her to play with a doll that shows her that it is ok if you're not a cookie-cutter type woman. 

So for those of you who are like me and would love their daughters to play with a somewhat more realistic and curvy doll, you can always check what Mattel has in store. Because aside from the new shapes, Barbie has also added more skin and hair color options, and they even brought out a line of successful career Barbies. 

All kidding aside. Yes, I will purchase a curvy Barbie. Just for the heck of it. But I am glad that this real women subject has become somewhat of a trend. Because I am a real woman. I have curves. I have a job, am successful in my field, I workout, I cook. But it's sometimes just really nice to know that even if we try so hard... It is ok not to be perfect, and by perfect I mean by societies standards. Because we women are perfect the way we are. And we should support each other as such.