Barbie got a major makeover, she now comes in different body types & skin colors


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Here is this week’s Time Magazine cover: THE NEW BARBIE. Or at least your choice of what kind of Barbie doll best represents your dreams and journeys. Yes, after decades of size-0, thin-thighed, blonde Barbies, Mattel has finally changed their doll in some fundamental ways. The new Barbie will be offered in seven different colors/races, with many different hair colors and three new body types: petite, tall and curvy.

Mattel will still be selling OG Barbie, but now kids will have more options. You can choose dark-skinned and petite Barbie, or tall and brown-skinned Barbie or curvy, white and brunette Barbie. All in all, there are 33 different dolls which will come out in stages. I’ll call them Bootilicious Barbie, Realistic Thighs Barbie, Nerd Barbie, Blue-Haired Hipster Barbie, Jennifer Lawrence Barbie and Ariana-Grande-Proportioned Barbie. The different body types are getting the most attention, but I genuinely appreciate the fact that they’re making Barbies with different skin tones and the dolls still get to be called BARBIE. They’re not going to call the different Barbies different names, like one called Destiny or one called Kim or whatever. All Barbies, in all sizes, in all colors.

The Time Magazine piece about Mattel’s Barbie Revolution is pretty interesting – go here to read. They’re not even really pretending that this change came from completely pure, representative intentions. You see, Mattel has seen steadily declining sales of Barbies, but from 2012-2014, sales fell off a cliff and Lego became the biggest toy company in the world, dethroning Mattel. Lego prioritized the “Lego Friends” line, which teaches girls to build and probably worked really well for parents who want to encourage their daughters to pursue STEM fields. Meanwhile, Barbie was still the same-old, same-old and that was a big problem. So the head of the Barbie brand, Evelyn Mazzocco, decided to rebrand Barbie for millennial moms. You can read about the strategy in Time Magazine here.

So, is this too little, too late? I personally think that Barbie has lasted so long because of fashion, and as long as they keep making great clothes for all Barbie sizes, I imagine Barbie will last for another 50 years. I’ve read the treatises about why Barbie isn’t feminist or why she’s blah blah blah, but for me, it was about the fashion and it was about having a womanly-proportioned doll to dress up.

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Photos courtesy of Mattel, Time Magazine.

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168 Responses to “Barbie got a major makeover, she now comes in different body types & skin colors”

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  1. Luxe says:

    Am I the only one that Barbie tricked into thinking something was wrong with me because I had nipples?

    As for if it’s too little too late – maybe. I’m really irritated that it’s 2016 and they’ve JUST NOW done this. People that say racism is dead are not paying attention to ANYTHING…it’s even entrenched in children’s toys. Oh, and DIsney…I’m looking at you too. TIana doesn’t make everything square.

    • Krista says:

      I saw someone say yesterday that they hoped the new Barbies have permanent undergarments on. Naked Barbies are too vulgar I guess.

    • Rinny says:

      Here, here Luxe!

    • Fee says:

      People wake up, our gov is militirising our police,inticing race wars n destroying our country. Barbie ain’t the fix, placating us with this…common, kids don’t see color,they’re taught, like u said, this is too late but no where enough

  2. Jessica says:

    When do the new Barbies come out? I want the blonde one in the polka dots because she looks like me (well, a thin version of me) and I love polka dots.

    By the way, I never had a problem with myself because of Barbie. Barbie was a doll. I preferred to play with Skipper – the one with smaller breasts – but I had a bunch of Barbies. I keep hearing/reading that Barbie gives unrealistic expectations of women and it harms girls and people feel upset because they don’t have a doll that looks like them, but I never cared about any of that. None of my favorite dolls growing up looked like the fat little blonde girl I was. I loved the American Girl dolls, especially Felicity and Josefina. They didn’t look like me and that never negatively affected me.

    Edit: Lol, I just looked up the dolls on the Barbie website and apparently I liked the Original one. I don’t know what that says about me, but there you go.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      The only part about Barbie that upset me growing up was the blonde hair, but I was among the original market. Midge came along with brown hair and seemed like the brains of the operation, so I liked her. Social messages with low expectations of what girls and women could do; a paucity of decent role models; lack of athletic outlets relative to those for the boys; being exposed to high rates of physical and sexual abuse; and incessant expectations that we be ‘nice’ and smile and hug everyone while putting up with all kinds of sexist bulls–t, all that hurt a lot more than Barbie’s physique — like, we knew she was a toy.

      • Tifygodess24 says:

        She “seemed like The brains of the operation”
        Omg That’s funny! Thanks for the laugh. Haha!

      • Otaku fairy says:

        Barbie didn’t cause me to have body issues either. Hearing the way other people talked about bodies, body fat, and thinness was the problem.

      • Jag says:

        Barbie didn’t cause me any body issues, either. I used her to play with other toys and stuffed animals, and they all had the adventures that I gave them. My mother’s fight with her own weight, and the abuse I suffered at the hands of my mother and father were what affected me the most. (Mom had undiagnosed hypothyroidism.)

        I will say that I’m old enough, though, that most people in my area and at school were thin. Unfortunately, the very few fat kids were made fun of – which I wish hadn’t happened to them. (No, I didn’t participate. I was being bullied for being an early bloomer, so was called Dolly Parton.) I was skinny until puberty hit.

        It was a different time then because it was before high fructose corn syrup made from GMO sugar beets in everything, and GMOs in so much of our food, and before so very many additives, antibiotics, and other drugs were fed to the animals we eat. I think those things do have an effect on people’s metabolisms and hormones these days, which can cause weight gain.

        So with all of that, maybe I was used to seeing thin people and Barbie being thin didn’t bother me. Or maybe I just saw her as a toy and not an extension of myself.

    • serena says:

      I loved Skipper! And also Courtney! Wonder if they stopped producing them.. ?

      ps. didn’t Midge have red hair?

      • paleokifaru says:

        The Midge we had did have red hair. My sister is a red head and it was our only red headed Barbie. But maybe that was the name used for any non blonde? Although I don’t recall any of our brunette dolls having different names on the boxes. We always named each doll ourselves.

      • TwistBarbie says:

        Yes, Midge was a redhead and I think the original “Barbie’s Friend” from the 60′s. I believe the original Barbie actually came in brunette and blonde, but blonde vastly outsold brunette. Barbie’s brunette friend you’re likely thinking of is Theresa. That was her name in the 80′s/early 90′s. She also had a black friend named Christie and when it suited the theme a Polynesian friend who changed her name from Miko to Kira because of a deranged stalker (there’s no way it was two different girls, Barbie collects ONE (1) woman of each ethnicity as friends for PR purposes)

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, I never had a problem with Barbie’s shape when I was a kid nor did it spur me to pursue and unrealistic shape when I was older. As for race, I remember very distinctly the black counterpart Julia doll, which I felt was nearly as popular as Barbie in the 70s. Playing with Barbies with my friends was really about the clothes and the imaginative scenarios and elaborate sets we created.

      I don’t know. On one hand I commend Mattel. But the cynical side of me says the different body shapes is really about more sales of clothes and accessories since kids won’t be able to mix and match anymore.

      • jugstorecowboy says:

        I wish I could believe that there will be clothes for these new Barbies, but it is already so hard to find Barbie clothes. When I was a kid there were a few Barbies in the toy aisle and tons and tons of clothes. Now there are like five outfits and fifty Barbies. My daughters have so many Barbies, but what they really want is clothes. I think this is a way to sell more Barbies. Same with Monster High–you can buy five Frankies to get five Frankie outfits, but they don’t sell the outfits separately. It’s actually a giant pet-peeve of mine.

      • Esmom says:

        Really, wow, I had no idea. Yes, there were tons of clothes back in the day. I was lucky because my mom made a ton of Barbie clothes for me — from a wedding dress and other gowns to a 70s polyester pants suit and swimsuits and sweaters. I always wanted more “store bought” stuff, of course, because those little catalogs were so fun to look at.

        Someone with seamstress skills needs to get on this and open an Easy shop! :)

      • Andi says:

        Do you know anyone good at sewing? When I grew up we didn’t have much money, but my dad was a carpenter and made me furniture and a dolls house (bit small for barbie but great for weebles) and an elderly friend of my mum was great at sewing and her and her friends used to make me tons of clothes that fit barbie. My barbie had knitted bikinis, fur coats (from some kind of fluffy material) and even satin cocktail dresses all from scraps. I got two pairs of shoes for Christmas except I lost one so my barbie would wear odd shoes and sometimes masking tape shoes (in different colours of course

      • Carol says:

        I had my sisters’ Barbies from when you bought one doll and a ton of clothes. Then Mattel realized it could charge more for the dolls so you had to buy the pilot Barbie and the sports Barbie rather than just purchasing pilot and sports uniforms. Still annoys me.

      • Esmom says:

        Carol, Ah, that explains it. That sucks, it is annoying. I must have been just before that era. I got a ballerina Barbie that came with like 5 additional outfits. She was amazing.

      • cd3 says:

        @jugstorecowboy, try a second hand shop / thrift store or a children’s consignment store that sells toys for barbie clothes. Value Village is a gold mine. You can get a big ol’ bag of barbie clothes and dolls (which you could just donate back if you don’t want more dolls) for a few bucks.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        You can find Barbie clothes and other doll clothes on Ebay. They even have Elsa dresses designed for Barbie.

    • go girl says:

      Barbie never bothered me, either. I didn’t care Barbie was white. I didn’t care Legomen had no legs, or that Grimace wasn’t a real animal…. They were toys, and I knew the difference between toys and real life.

    • shannon says:

      Same here. To me, Barbie was just a fun doll to put clothes on and have her drive her cool car and live in her cool dream house. By the time I was old enough to worry about how I looked, Barbies were long gone and it was more models, rock stars, famous movie stars etc that I wanted to look like. When I played with Barbies, I couldn’t have cared less about whether or not she looked like me, I just wanted mine to have the best and most clothes lol

  3. Darkladi says:

    Cue asshat backlash in 3…2…

    • Tania says:

      Some numpty in my FB Mommy group already posted “OMG, Barbie is FAT, how is that good for our kids????” Ugh, *facepalm*

      • Krista says:

        Oh my God.

      • michkabibbles says:

        I’ve read those comments, too, that having a curvy Barbie promotes childhood obesity by letting kids know it’s ok to be fat or overweight.

      • kri says:

        Tania, you must start a twitter war with this dumba$$ Mommy. Stupidity is a war we all have to fight! Seriously, this woman sounds like an idiot.

      • ol cranky says:

        there was concern that some of the kids in the focus group called the curvy one chubby. that shows how the parents have already brainwashed the kids into thinking anyone with a normal figure as opposed to no curves & thin as being fat

      • Mumzy says:

        Just tell her that this new set of dolls will allow little girls to practice their Mean Girl skills. Her daughter’s replica (skinny doll) can practice her best insults and smack-downs of the other girls (FAT dolls) in her own home so when she goes out in public she’ll be *really* ready. She and mom can even do it together — mother/daughter bonding..yay!! 😔

      • Otaku fairy says:

        How ridiculous (but not surprising. In comment sections where the idea of a Barbie with a different body type is discussed, you’ll always see people whining about it like it’s a bad thing.) People who aren’t a size 2 or 0 exist. What’s so bad about a kid’s toy reflecting that?

    • Tifygodess24 says:

      Yes! It was all over yesterday, I was getting so frustrated. There is nothing wrong with having more than one option for Barbie, yet people can’t seem to grasp that. And none of those barbies are promoting obesity. Barbie’s size is so unrealistic to begin with that even if we were to measure out these new dolls and make them life size they would still be thin. People need to get a grip.

      • Tania says:

        @KRI: there was no need for me to do anything, everyone basically told her she was an idiot LOL

      • Trashaddict says:

        Yes you may have noticed the teeny little arms. Some of them actually have (gasp!) hips, but I don’t really see any with a generous bootie.

      • crtb says:

        I am getting soooo tired of people who don’t get it. I grew up at a time when I never saw myself reflected on TV, or movies, or in magazines or in toys. And when they did show images of me, they were either negative or ugly. I remember before my daughter was born, every time I saw an afro-centric children’s book, I immediately purchased it because they were so few and far between. I remember when my daughter was little, and a new brown Barbie was introduced on the market, I had to call relatives from all over the country to look in their local toy store to see if they could find one. I remember that many of the Black dolls were just dark colored rubber versions of the white doll. I remember looking for authentic black dolls and many of them were unappealing. Yes, I stood on line for hours for a black Cabbage Patch doll. I now have grandchildren and love Doc Mc Stuffins, Princess Tiana, Tip from Home.

        So I can imagine how other little girls also felt never seeing themselves reflected in the Media. Every image is thin, with long hair, thigh gap, thin straight nose. I applaud toy makers who include dolls with glasses, in all hues of skin color, different hair textures and lengths, different body sizes and shapes, different nose and lip shapes and thickness. Clothing that reflects what real children might wear in addition to dress up clothes.

        This is not about those of you who never played with dolls or destroyed your dolls or who could care less. It is about those of us who did care and treasured playing not only with Barbie but with baby dolls also and want to see ourselves reflected in the world.

        To respond to those dumb a$$es who think that a chubby or healthy doll promotes obesity. I beg to differ, I think when the only image everywhere that is shoved down our throats is blonde, blue eyed, thinner than thin, does more damage and promote eating disorders.

        Don’t like it don’t buy it. Young girls in the end will determine if this is what they want.

    • Katie says:

      Yep I’m waiting for it.
      I personally think the new Barbies are neat!

  4. Amelia says:

    This is legit awesome, it’s the first time I’ve been even slightly interested in Barbie for years.
    And genuinely different skin tones!!
    My step-niece is of Ghanaian heritage and I am genuinely thrilled for her that she’ll be able to grow up with dolls that are a decent representation of her.
    It’s pretty dismal that it’s 2016 and this is only just happening now – but either way I’m still pleased that kids are going to be able to find a doll that represents them more closely now.

    • whatthe says:

      Both blacks dolls have weave-type hair instead of natural.

      • Moneypenny says:

        The curly haired dark skinned one doesn’t look like a weave. I bought that for my daughter a few weeks ago. She has been complaining that her curly hair “wasn’t long like Elsa’s [from Frozen],” so I was really happy to see her choose this doll.

      • whatthe says:

        How many black women have hair like that that is not a weave?

    • pinetree13 says:

      Me too! These dolls look so cool all standing together it looks way closer to a crowd of actual women! I also love that they made a couple “pale” barbies too. I remember longing to have barbie’s tan skin as a child and I did think of her as the beautiful ideal. My children are mixed race and I will definitely be buying the barbie that looks most like my daughter for her :) I remember a couple of years ago my neice (who is also mix-race) made a comment about my hair being better because it’s blonde and it made me feel so sad.

  5. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I understand why they did this. I get it. But I think back on my Barbie years and I agree with Kaiser. It was about the clothes. Maybe all sorts of subtle body image messages were filtering through to my brain, but I don’t remember thinking anything like “I need to be thin and big busted like Barbie.” I just liked to dress her up and was happy when one of my brothers hadn’t pulled her head off.

    • MelissaManifesto says:

      I’m in my 20s, playing with toys were never really my thing. I had a doll my mother named Jemimah, she had porcelain skin with flowing red hair that could have made Grace Coddington Jealous. I looked nothing like her, but I was taught to love myself for who I was and see a doll as a little sister if not my own child rooted in my principles. It’s great to have different dolls, but it all starts at home. Unfortunately not every little girl is going to have someone to teach them how to love themselves and be proud of their looks, but I feel like some people are putting all of their hopes in Barbie.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      My little Barbie-owner detached some legs and arms instead to see how things worked.

      These new clothes are really cute. Barbie clearly doesn’t have to think about matching at least 3 existing garments when she buys her outfits.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      Ha! My husband and his brother used to hang their sisters’ Barbies by their necks in the basement.

      I wasn’t allowed to have a Barbie because my mother couldn’t tolerate her boobs. When I had my daughter I could not WAIT to buy her a Barbie. Then she got more for birthday presents. She hated them all.

      • whynot says:

        Although we were middle class growing up, I only had a few barbies. I feel for you getting none!!! I remember wishing every single box at Christmas that was similarly shaped would be a barbie but it almost never was. I guess it’s better we weren’t spoiled with ten million barbies like some other kids.

        So now that I have a young daughter, I’ve been loading up on barbies when I see them on sale and I even bought the 2013 Holiday barbie as that’s my daughter’s birth year. I’ve only given her a few so far (not the precious holiday barbie at 2 years old!) and she’s not that interested. Your tale of your daughter sends chills through my spine. If my daughter also never likes barbies how will I live out my childhood dreams through her?!?

        Lastly, neighbor’s friend snagged the outfit for my only special barbie, I think Mexican barbie or something? But of course she was white (at least she had dark hair like me). I’m still pissed about it to this day!!!

      • Otaku fairy says:

        That was a good laugh for the day. Of all the reasons I’ve heard for people being against a kid having a doll, that’s the first time I’ve heard the “Because Boobs” complaint.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Ha you do NOT want to know what we did with Barbie and Ken, Barbie and GI Joe, etc…..

      • Jwoolman says:

        When very young, I was given two precursor fashion dolls (Barbie wasn’t even a gleam in the toymaker’s eye, I guess) and hated them. They were hard and ugly rather than plush or rubbery like everybody in my Animal Kingdom (ruled benevolently by an elephant and his panda wife). I actually made those fashion dolls slaves to the animals, after removing their stupid clothes. An early sign of my preference for other species, or a sign of deep disturbance? I was probably ticked because I wanted more stuffed animals and instead got these stupid dolls. But I mainly ignored them. When I finally got the erector set I’d been begging for, my older brother made a little guillotine just their size and amused himself pretending to chop off their heads. I didn’t interfere. He made a gallows, too. Again, I didn’t try to save them (the sin of silence in the face of evil). I don’t recall my brother ever doing anything else with the erector set, that was his only burst of creativity. Or something.

        Most of my stuffed animals wore their natural fur, although some had some clothing. My teddy bear (the crown prince, a little polar bear who had lost his fur in a bathing incident instigated by my brother – are we seeing a pattern here?) was small enough that he could wear doll’s clothes. He had a snowsuit and ice skates, can’t remember what else.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I’m right there with you, GNAT. I do applaud the fact that they’re finally diversifying, because it always is nice to have better representation, but I was never particularly influenced by Barbie’s shape. Heck, I’m of Middle-Eastern descent and I have curly brown hair, but my focus with Barbie was the clothes. I wasn’t upset because I wasn’t white with a size negative 3 waist and loooong blonde hair, lol. I just loved the clothes.

      • Susan says:

        Same here. Sometimes I think people just want something to complain about one way or another.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        @Susan: Well there are women and girls who say the body types of Barbie dolls and Disney princesses made them look at their bodies in a negative way as kids. Representing more than one body type can only do good, not harm. And it’s definitely good to see a lot more than just the blonde haired, blue eyed, white Barbie, since that one seems to have always been the most common one sold in stores. (and always portrayed as the center of the group).

      • Pam says:

        I believe they briefly mentioned this issue in one of my psych classes. Apparently it was primarily the Caucasian girls (the ones who could identify most to Barbie in terms of appearance) that were negatively affected in terms of body image because they saw themselves easier in Barbie.

      • TwistBarbie says:

        I think many kids just admire what they don’t have. I’m blonde haired/blue eyed but when I was young the queen of all my Barbies, the one who was always leading actress in my little dramas was my Princess Jasmine (from Disney’s Aladdin). When they released that Barbie-sized doll she was all I wanted for Christmas. Barbie’s plastic smile and wide blue eyes were insipid next to Jasmine’s spicy allure. My Ken never desired another woman more.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yup. But I’m on board with these new Barbies and it’s making me want to start a new collection.

    • Really says:

      All about the clothes! My mom would crochet Barbie clothes for me. And when I didn’t have a Ken doll, I cut all the hair off a Barbie and dressed them in boy clothes. I also tried crimping the Barbie’s hair… Yes I am telling my age by mentioning a crimper, and yes it did melt all the hair off! My grandpa made a massive wood doll house complete with carpet/wallpaper/little wood shingles. Every little girl’s dream. But as a side effect of too many 80′s soap operas, my doll house also had an emergency ladder out the window for when Husband came home and caught Barbie with another man….

    • Josefina says:

      This very much. I have nothing against this decission (who could?), but I’ve always seen Barbie as just a plastic doll.

  6. BendyWindy says:

    I do think it may be too little, too late. I’m internally applauding, but still on the fence about whether or not I will actually buy my kid a Barbie.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      You won’t have to – someone else will, and earlier than you want as well.

    • Wren says:

      Don’t worry about it too much. If your kid doesn’t have one her friends will and you’ll hear alllllll about it if she wants one. Or she won’t care about Barbies and be obsessed with another toy.

      Personally I was a stuffed animal and toy truck type of girl and had little use for dolls. I had a couple Barbies a friend gave me but since I only had a couple outfits for them I didn’t play with them much. Barbie is about the clothes and roll playing, not really so much about what she looks like. She’s a doll, she’s not supposed to be realistic. My mom was part of the “omg negative female body image” camp so she never bought them for me, but like I said, she’s a doll and kids know that.

    • cd3 says:

      Better late than never I suppose. I think it’s a positive change since when one things of dolls for little girls, “Barbie” is still the first one that comes to mind for most people. Even when we talk of “playing with Barbies” sometimes we just mean “barbie” in a generic sense to mean any doll. So to have that doll in different body types, skin tones, etc. I think is a good thing.

  7. Pinky says:

    She’s come in different skin colors since the ’60s, though her friend had different names.

    It’s a very good step and welcome change. But they’re doing it because they kept getting clobbered in the market any time a new line of more varied and ethnic dolls emerged from competitors.

    -TheRealPinky

    • PinaColada says:

      +1 I had pretty much every race of Barbie as a kid in the 80s, even ones with textured hair. My girls have a wide variety of skin color with their barbies. That part is confusing to me. They’re all the same size so the size thing is new…..?

    • Abbess Tansy says:

      I remember having a black Barbie doll named Christie way back in the 80s too. I had fun making clothes for her.
      Maybe this is a little too late but Mattel needed to do some retooling anyway.

  8. Nikki says:

    Kaiser, I LOVED your names for the various Barbies 😃 great start to my day! Also, I was right with you on being glad they are all Barbies, rather than Barbie’s friend from across town!

  9. Patricia says:

    Good. Progressive.
    But anyone who is looking to Barbie as a role model and who thinks their daughters should find a role model in Barbie should just keep looking. This brand has never had the psychological wellness of girls in mind. Like this article said, they are only doing this out of necessity. Girls can play with any Barbie of any size and shape but if the ongoing conversation about the value of a body isn’t happening between the girl and the parents then there will always be a problem. At the end of the day this is just a doll, the guidance should be coming from real adults. Just my opinion.

  10. Belle says:

    WOW, I love these. No shade, this is a step in the right direction. They tend to say supply and demand, but the demand is there, if I had daughters ( I only have sons) and they wanted to get into Barbie, I would feel comfortable and buy one so they can play in a universal way as opposed to only 1 kind.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      You never know, your sons might want to get into Barbies, too.

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        Yep, my I have boy/girl twins and my son did enjoy playing with Barbie, but it was one that had a painted on bathing suit that changed colors when it got wet or hot/cold water. It might have been that feature rather than the doll that he liked, but he still played with it a lot.

  11. Krista says:

    I’m glad they are getting around to this. Wish they had included a Barbie with physical limitations or chronic illness though.

    But I am also not someone who got upset at Barbie’s proportions. I played with Barbie’s until I was about 10 (when my BFF decided for us that they weren’t cool anymore) and am an out and proud feminist now. She was fun to play with and definitely don’t think she is as damaging to young minds as some claim. I think young girls are smarter than their toys, and not so easily influenced by them.

    • dr mantis toboggan says:

      When I was a kid we had a gymnast Barbie with bendy knee and elbow joints, and we put her in a wheelchair because our brother was in a wheelchair and it was normal to us. I also had a tiger toy and pretended it was a dog – never underestimate the imagination of weird kids!

    • paleokifaru says:

      Agreed. We played with them for the clothes and hairstyling and the opportunity to create our own adult worlds. Our Barbies were CEOS, doctors, archaeologists and musicians. They had relationships that we played out. We never expected to grow up and look just like her.

    • Lex says:

      I don’t think chronic illness or amputation or other disability is really something that needs to be displayed on a child’s doll.
      Dolls are for play, not for learning every lesson life has to teach. They’re an escape for kids, not a grim reality check.
      Let children’s parents take some responsibility for teaching their kids about diversity in the world. Keep the dolls simple, fun and light. The skin tone and body shape is a wonderful addition. I would have loved more diverse dolls growing up. I’ve always been envious of a beautiful deep skin tone (me being pale as a ghost).

      • whatthe says:

        Thank you for commenting, I wanted to but didn’t want to get roasted.

      • nn says:

        I agree.
        There was a doll made that had down syndrome and I thought it was inappropriate. Maybe I am wrong for thinking that and really, it should be up to the parents but something about it didn’t sit well with me.
        There was another one with another disability as well and again, it just seemed wrong to me and many parents of children with disabilities felt the same way.

      • cd3 says:

        “Dolls are for play, not for learning every lesson life has to teach. They’re an escape for kids, not a grim reality check.” – I think this is very spot on. BUT, BUT, BUT some diversity and inclusiveness in our dolls / media / movies / Oscar nominees is never, ever, ever a bad thing IMHO.

    • Sarah says:

      Absolutely. I am definitely pro all types of diversity in kids shows and movies (hell, all shows and movies!)

      Showing that in motion (especially disabilities or illnesses) can teach people not to be “scared” of what is different by seeing how those people behave and by illustrating that they are just normal people.

      Representing that in a doll only focuses on the physical element which kids may make fun of with no context around it.

  12. nicole says:

    That one DOES look like Jennifer Lawrence! Impressive.

  13. Who ARE these people? says:

    That top photo in profile….is that a baby bump? ; )

    Seriously tho … no comment other to notice Barbie is still Barbie: hair, skirts and tiny little feet. Also some of the petite and tall versions look even thinner than regular Barbie. Almost too thin.

    The next generation of children is smaller than the Baby Boom echo, it will be hard to recapture their old market numbers, but it’s still a welcome step. And it may boost sales if kids want one of each type, instead of buying one of each type of princess. That’s been the Barbie marketing plan for years anyway — make them collectibles.

    Next question: will there be a Dad Bod Ken?

  14. Nancy says:

    Is Ken still around? Wonder if he will now be short with a beer belly and balding….

    • Esmom says:

      LMAO. Dad Bod Ken!

      • Nancy says:

        Esmom: Right! And Midge rocking bifocals. I know once upon a time there was a Barbie board game. The weird looking guy that you got if you lost name was Pointdexter. I know I’m not dreaming this, I think my mom told me. We’ve come a long way baby!

  15. Chinoiserie says:

    Hasn’t Barbie have come out in diffenrent colors for forever now? The different bodytypes is actually fun, I though people wanted to ban the skinny Barbie entirely for having a unrealistic proportions for a human being. This is more fun option for play, since I do not think kids really pay attention to the bodies same way adults do if there is no comparisons.

  16. Prairiegirl says:

    I’m with you Kaiser. The point of a Barbie is that it’s a ‘fashion doll’ and her charm is her clothes. This marketing attempt, while serving a socially admirable purpose, will fail to resurrect the brand because no one remembers the 1970s. I do, so I’ll explain:

    Barbie’s clothes don’t fit Skipper, who’s small. They also don’t fit my Linda Carter / Wonder Woman doll, because WW’s too tall for them. The Lindsay Wagner / Bionic Woman doll’s clothes are sometimes interchangeable with Barbie, but not really. Also, totally different lifestyle, right? The Farrah Fawcett / Jaclyn Smith / Kate Jackson Charlie’s Angels dolls are way small, and don’t even fit Skipper’s clothes. They have a whole wardrobe of their own, mostly limited to pantsuits. And Sandi, the ‘real doll,’ with a flatter chest and normal waist? Forget it. Nothing’s interchangeable with her, except hats, purses, and the pink corvette. So I’ll focus on my Barbie when I feel like goofing around with my dolls because that’s where all the good clothes are.

    TL;DR: doomed to failure due to inability to mix ‘n match clothes.

    • Alarmjaguar says:

      I totally had a Charlie’s Angel doll! She was brunette, so I liked her better than Barbie. Also, anyone remember Star?

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        I should add that I have brown hair

      • yellow says:

        Does anyone remember these barbie knockoff’s from the 80′s? They were some kind of princesses with jewel stones for eyes. They were so cool/pretty. I had the blonde with topaz eyes, and the brunette with aqua jewel eyes. I am blonde but the brunette was always the favorite doll even beyond any barbie’s.

    • stinky says:

      Don’t forget Cher!

      • why not says:

        Yes, I’m pretty sure there was a version that had a key you inserted into her back to make her hair grow! I haven’t thought about that even once since I was a kid.

      • Prairiegirl says:

        Oh, I SO WANTED the Cher doll! The Marie Osmond doll, not so much. (My best friend had the Donny and Marie dolls!)

    • pinetree13 says:

      Well most of the clothes are velcro so if they are smart they’ll just make it so you can do it up a little tighter for the smaller dolls and make mainly dresses and things that could fit both the ‘tall’ and ‘petite’ barbie.

      • Prairiegirl says:

        Or do what I did: extra chores around the house so mom and grandma would sew up some new clothes for my dolls. :)

    • Trashaddict says:

      OK Barbie clothes aficionados, have yourselves a treat:
      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/353743745711330050/
      I couldn’t believe how amazing these look! I want all of these outfits.
      Not sure who does them but amazing tailoring. Sigh.

  17. Karen says:

    I like the different hair and skin tones. I mean really that is about time. Seriously. It’s 2016 and they’re just getting around to this?

    So far these aren’t in stores bc they don’t have the shelf space for the new dolls. I read an article about how people might not buy/gift the “curvy” doll because they don’t want to insult the little girl and think they’re calling her fat by getting the doll that “looks” like them. How long til they blame bad online sales to stop the lines all together? Also remember parents will have to buy 3-4 different sizes of clothes now (reg, tall, petite, curvy), how about maybe not make barbie have a 12″ waist and huge fake boobs? Making only minor tweeks would solve the proportion problems.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      All they had to do with the old Barbie was expand her waist and hips a little IMHO. All these body options = too many wardrobe requirements to support a doll line that girls play with for what, 3-4 years of their lives?

      • TheOtherViv says:

        THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.
        All it took was a few changes to make Barbie more realistic.
        I showed these pics to my 11 yr old. She is very aware that she is biologically able to eat like a pig without putting on weight and has chosen to dramatically defend those of her friends who others dare call ‘chubby’. While she loved the curvy and the petite Barbie she was concerned if giving a curvy Barbie to a friend for her birthday would make that friend think she is in any way overweight. She said: ” I know they’re perfect, but some of my friends don’t know they are and they don’t believe me. And we like Barbie because she is like a supermodel, not a real person. She is not normal. Her boyfriend has no hair anywhere on his body. And then they have to buy all new clothes for other-sized Barbies. That will be expensive. ”

        She has a point.

  18. PoliteTeaSipper says:

    I’ve collected Barbie and American Girl (both owned by Mattel) for decades. I also get plenty of nasty messages on my Facebook whenever I dare to share a picture of my collector line fashion dolls from parents who accuse me of “attempting to brainwash people into anorexia/think of the children,” so I am throughly tired of the “let’s blame a toy for all the world’s ills” brigade.

    Here is the deal: it doesn’t mean a damn thing unless it sells. I will be interested to see if it does. I am glad that this choice exists for parents who want it, but if it doesn’t sell they will not keep producing them, period.

    Cynical? Perhaps, but I’ve seen (for example) plenty of AG doll collectors who proudly accuse the company of being racist for not producing a Girl of the Year of color, but they themselves do not own any of the DoC AG has ever made and they themselves continue to purchase white doll after white doll.

    If people do not put their money where their mouths are, it will be meaningless (but Mattel will have gained good PR saying “see, we tried”). I will stick with the Silkstone collection and 80s era Barbie, because that is what I like…and that is what will fit the boxes and boxes of clothes patterns that I have from when I was a child.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      I agree, people impart way too much social meaning onto dolls. If you don’t like Barbies, heck, give your daughter a science toy. I don’t see people consistently doing that, either.

  19. Betsy says:

    I am unreasonably excited about this. And mildly disappointed that neither of my boys has any interest in Barbie at all.

  20. leigh says:

    I’ll take the ones with purple and blue hair. Thanks

  21. Delta Juliet says:

    I’m neither for or against this. I just hope they can keep up with cute clothes for all the different shapes and sizes?

    Also, I’ve got loads of body issues myself and I can honestly say than absolutely none of them came from Barbie.

  22. serena says:

    This makes me really happy, it was about time for them to do this!
    Now I want them all.

  23. Lucy2 says:

    I loved Barbie growing up, like others here I liked the clothes, and we were imaginative with how we played with them, made rooms and furniture, cooked up all kinds of stories. I never saw it as a role model, but I think this new variety of dolls is really wonderful . Anytime they had one with a new hair color or skin color, I wanted it, so I wouldn’t just have a pile of blonde clones. I had some offbrand ones that a relative passed down, and they were my favorite because they were different. Having this variety for kids to choose from now is a good thing.

  24. Darlene says:

    It’s about time.

  25. Louisa says:

    i just wonder if little girls, who aren’t grown up into their bodies yet, will want the natural looking dolls because they see them in the world, or if they’ll want the original barbie doll. I think this will sell better for moms than what the little kids want. i just think the kids aren’t really that advanced or sophisticated enough to appreciate diversity…….just my opinion

  26. Colleen says:

    I wanted Barbies so bad when I was little. My mom was always against them and I would enviously watch my cousin giddily collect her Barbies, cart them around and change their clothes.

    When I was 10 my mom caved and bought me one. What a huge disappointment! I soon went back to playing with my Legos and Lincoln Logs, they were way more interesting. 😉

  27. SamiHami says:

    I loved my Barbies when I was a kid in the 1970′s! My favorite was Malibu Barbie, the one with the tan. It didn’t give me a negative body image at all. It was just fun play. Now, I may have gravitated toward Malibu Barbie because she was tall, blond, slender and tan, but that was probably more because I was living in Hawaii at the time, and that’s what I saw at the beach all the time; tall, blond, slender and tan women.

    Now I am tall and blond. I guess two out of four isn’t too bad!

    I also have very fond memories of my recently deceased mother making tons of Barbie clothes for me. I had outfits that no one else had! It was just plain fun.

  28. Tania says:

    I don’t know if they are big in the US, but I really love Lottie dolls. They’re dolls that look like girls, as in girl bodies, with no make up or high heels. They come in an assortment of roles–soccer player, equestrian, butterfly keeper, etc. I have bought several of these for my 4 year old and she really seems to like them.

    • cd3 says:

      YES! These are the best dolls ever. They look LIKE LITTLE GIRLS, which I think is great. We have an Olympic gymnast one. You can get clothes, accessories, etc.

  29. Green Is Good says:

    Blue-haired hipster Barbie wins!

  30. Kitten says:

    Dolls are stupid.
    Stuffed animals and Matchbox cars forever.

  31. Murphy says:

    Whose awful idea was it to do this a month AFTER Christmas? Duh.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      Well, it does give retailers more time to plan display space and make their purchasing decisions at a less hectic time of year…

  32. Miss E says:

    When is G.I. Joe going AWOL to become a tree hugging pacifist that brews artisanal craft beer while growing his beard and listening to folk music on vinyl?

    Blond with big tits is bad for girls but the military, war and killing is good for boys?

    When there is a Ken and G.I. Joe “wedding day” is when I will think Mattel is progressive.

  33. QQ says:

    as a woman who played ELABORATE games of Barbies with my sister and my brothers GI Joe/Rambo dolls ( sorry kens were PITIFUL) well into our teens with ZERO shame (WELL!) and someone who got a Barbie for her Bday still last year ( seriously i took her with me EVERYWHERE for two weeks) I’m so READY to get EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE IN BROWN/black , Honeys with the Undercut and the blue hair?? In Tall PLEASE GOD TELL ME THEY MAKE HER IN BROWN!!, I’m absolutely here for it, them looking like a Power Squad of It Girls!! Look at the excellent clothes i’d want to wear, i already told a Few People this is what they can get me LOL

    My sister is delivering a baby today and I haven’t had much luck with my nieces/ young cousins Barbieing with me But i’m already claiming this new Bebeh for my Barbie playing needs!

    Yes, fam, I ranted/fangirled about Barbies

    • NeoCleo says:

      You know, you make me want to get down on the floor to play with the Barbies!! I love your enthusiasm.

      • QQ says:

        I promise you you should! It would make you so happy!, I Just texted my bf these pics and he said This is my year for barbies if I do bad adult things ( I scoffed, he IS getting me them, Period)

      • A says:

        QQ I wish I had something to get excited over like that!! you go catch’em all girl!!

      • Jwoolman says:

        QQ- if they can peddle adult coloring books, you can certainly play with Barbies. Just tell any scoffers that it’s the latest thing for stress relief. Excuse me while I go watch a cartoon…

    • I Choose Me says:

      As a forty year old woman with a suitcase full of Barbies (the mermaid one with the tail that lights up is the bomb yo) I heartily endorse this entire comment.

      • QQ says:

        OH GOD! I was SO SALTY my parents didn’t get me that one!!! so SO Salty!,i got the bride one that year But still!! Damn Now i’m going to shade my mom via text

      • Rainbow says:

        @I choose Me I had this one too! I also loved another Mermaid Barbie whose hair changed colors when they got wet

  34. Sisi says:

    When I was little my favorite barbie was Dana, from a popstar collection, she was Asian apparently. I had no idea when I was playing with her to be honest. To me she was just My Barbie.
    So yeah, Barbie can have all kinds of looks.

    • cd3 says:

      I agree. My daughter is in grade one and we live in a very multicultural community. In her class of 24 kids, less than half are “white / Caucasian”. The rest are all different ethnicities. When she describes her friends, she has never once described their skin color. She talks about their hair color, height, age, eye color, etc. but she’s seemingly oblivious to skin color. I think it’s just cause it’s the norm of our neighborhood, it’s not a homogeneous society at all, and we’ve never made a big deal about skin color or described people that way. I wish we could all be so color blind.

  35. NeoCleo says:

    I’ve never been a fan of playing with dolls, but these are all beautiful!!

  36. Rainbow says:

    I was obsessed with Barbie. My collection was huge! My poor parents lol
    Does anyone remember Sindy? It was a rival to Barbie, i don’t know if they still make her.
    She was pretty too, but her feet her huge and Barbie’s shoes didn’t fit her.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      I had her. Clothes not interchangeable with Barbie’s. She really didn’t get played with for that reason alone. (see my post above)

  37. A says:

    I had forgotten all about Midge and Courtney! They were the best. And skipper too. Had lots of fun playing with them and my childhood best friend and the motorhome …such good times :’)

    That being said…new Barbies look skinny even the “fat” curvy ones…side eye to that. I am not buying it until I see morbidly obese Barbie comes to light. She needs a chance too, you know?

  38. word says:

    Barbie’s never influenced how I saw myself. What is worse are the magazine covers, and what girls look like on TV…you know HUMANS.

    I heard during a panel, little 6 year olds were shown these dolls. They made fun of some of them and giggled the dolls were “chubby”. What we really need to do is show healthier body types on TV and commercials. All we see are women dieting on TV. I guess men don’t eat Special K or any type of yogurt right? Only females do. So stupid.

    I do think these dolls are great. But the impact of these dolls won’t be seen for another 10 years or so. We have to introduce them to a generation that has never seen the Original Barbie.

  39. Amanda says:

    I’m a grown 28 year old woman, but I kind of want to buy one of these Barbies, maybe the petite one. I was small for my age as a kid ( even though I’m just under 5’5″ now).

  40. Lostara says:

    Öhm…. There have been black Barbies before. I had one as a kid – in the seventies. A black ballerina wearing a pink tutu and a crown.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      Ballerina Barbie! I had the run of the mill Caucasian version, I didn’t know there were black ones! Which is a good thing, since I totally would have wanted it.

      • Lostara says:

        In fact, I totally forgot about it, my sister had a black Barbie as well. Not the ballerina, but a “normal” Barbie, with black skin and long, straight, black hair.
        So at least black Barbies have been around for some time. :)

  41. m says:

    Ugh. The race part is really cool but why do parents think that Barbie promotes body image issues? They are dolls, quit projecting your issues onto your kids and explain that no humans look like that. Its up to you to promote a healthy body image, not Mattels. Im sick and tired of dolls and games being blamed for kids problems and not bad parenting.

    • PoliteTeaSipper says:

      This exactly👏🏻 I am so tired of people projecting their hang ups on my doll collecting hobby.

  42. nn says:

    I am so sick of adults complaining!
    First they complained about the unrealistic Barbie and now when they finally give in and made options and barbies of different sizes, they STILL complain!
    How about this? Let kids decide for themselves!
    Or make a doll especially made for YOU that looks like YOUR child, my parents did.

  43. Amanda G says:

    Those barbies look amazing and look way more fun than the cookie cutter ones I had! It’s about time!!

  44. yellow says:

    Awful clothes!

  45. Zaid says:

    Oww the petite with curly hair looks like me! I want it.

  46. cd3 says:

    Personally I like that they resisted the urge to slather the dolls’ faces in make up, like the Bratz dolls. I came across this recently and loved it:

    http://www.boredpanda.com/tree-change-dolls/

    This Australian mom takes Bratz dolls, strips off their make up, and repaints them to look like little girls – some even having missing teeth! – and they are gorgeous and adorable.

  47. Dangles says:

    Bit late. Most kids spend their time on the interwebs these days.

  48. Norman Garza says:

    As a retail history buff myself I wonder what happened to Lammily that people were talking about a year or two ago? I wonder if this is a response to the start up challenger that I have not heard of much lately?

  49. MrsNix says:

    The first time I ever had a question about Barbie as a kid (and I’m over 40, so I’m old) was when they finally put out a Barbie who looked somewhat Asian. It was in like the very late 80′s or early 90′s, and she was a Hawaiian Barbie with long black hair. I had Barbies with white and black skin, but it had never occurred to me until the Hawaiian Barbie came out that – hey! – there ought to be different looking Barbies so everyone can have one that looks like them.

    I never felt fat shamed or boob shamed or anything by my Barbies.

    But I’m glad they’re doing this…like someone else said, I’m shocked and dismayed that it took them until now to do it.

  50. Ninette says:

    This is one of those rare moments where I wish I was child today. I would be standing in the toy shop for hours, Trying to pick just one…

  51. nicegirl says:

    I agree. Barbie IS a fashion doll.

    However – for those of us born in the mid 70′s, and growing up throughout the 80′s, Barbie was also a very ‘real girl’ type character. I would guess that even folks born before me might have the same feelings toward Barbie and her evolution.

    There were little golden books about her, coloring books about her, and paper doll books, with stories. If you stayed home sick back then, you did not have a laptop or tablet on your bed to keep you busy. You read books, colored, played with paper dolls! And Barbie was such a gorgeously drawn coloring book, it was such a thrill to get them. I remember loving to color in the books, and thinking that Barbie was so lucky because she did not have a job washing dishes, which I thought all girls did, all the time. She had several, real professional JOBS, not just duties and hobbies.

    She had her own car, and she drove it. She had a house, of her own. She had girl friends, she even got a camper, and an airplane at one point.

    She was a girl scout, a secretary, a teacher, a nurse, a stewardess – and then became a big business gal, a doctor, a pilot, an astronaut, a professor, and then there were even ‘Barbie for President’ dolls. She has, in a way, progressed along with the rest of us girls/ladies. So while we loved dressing her up, accessorizing her with special purses and heels, styling her hair, we also looked up to her as a girl role model in a different way. Yes, she was gorgeous, but I never thought, “Gosh, Barbie is way prettier than me. Why don’t I have hips like her?” I do remember thinking, “Oh man, I am gonna get a real job like Barbie, and am then I am gonna dress fancy like Barbie and do my hair and makeup, because I will have my own money and can have my own house if I want and have my own kind of life, like Barbie.”

    Because she COULD, and so she did. Barbie could do anything, so we could, too.

    • Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

      I was born in 1975 and always found Barbie ugly and unappealing… Never had one, never wanted one…

  52. Dangles says:

    Now we just ne d warning stickers on the covers of fashion magazines:

    WARNING: CONTENTS MAY CAUSE EATING DISORDERS

    The warning could also appear when you log on to websites that use similrimagery to fashion magazines.

  53. Veronica says:

    I wouldn’t call Barbie inherently anti-feminist – they were some of the first dolls to portray women as doctors, scientists, etc. – but they do miss the mark often enough that some brand reflection has become necessary. This is a step in a good direction.

  54. Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

    Never had a Barbie in my entire life, had a Cindy though, she had brown hair and wasn’t so skinny as Barbie. Plus, I never liked Barbie, even when I was a kid (and I’m blonde… ). Found the doll too boring and futile!!
    I guess if Barbie had any books, I would have liked her. I never understood the obsession with that doll, never…