Today, Mattel's Barbie joins the ranks of marketers promoting the beauty and acceptance of all body types with the debut of three new dolls of different shapes and colors. Part of the brand's 2016 Fashionistas line, the new Barbies will come in tall, curvy and petite and in a range of skin tones.
"For more than 55 years, Barbie has been a global, cultural icon and a source of inspiration and imagination to millions of girls around the world," said Mattel's President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Dickson in a statement. "Barbie reflects the world girls see around them. Her ability to evolve and grow with the times, while staying true to her spirit, is central to why Barbie is the number one fashion doll in the world."
The brand, however, isn't dropping the original Barbie figure. It will continue to sell alongside the new dolls, which will now come in a range of seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hair styles. According to Mattel's statement, the new body types continue the brand's diversity attempts that began last year. Those had also included new hair and skin colors but also, "most notably, a flat foot."
Mattel started accepting online orders for the dolls on Jan. 28, 2016, and retailers will begin selling them in the spring.
Perhaps Mattel has learned that Barbies that don't fall into the original blonde, white and anatomically impossible mold mean good business: late last year, the brand released a Barbie of "Selma" director Ava Duvernay, which sold out within minutes.