Barbie Adds Tall, Curvy and Petite Body Types to its Doll Line

It's about time.
Avatar:
Maura Brannigan
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
7018
It's about time.
A look at Barbie's new body types, including tall, curvy and petite. Photo: Barbie

A look at Barbie's new body types, including tall, curvy and petite. Photo: Barbie

After decades of criticism, Barbie — the brand that built an empire on infamously unrealistic blonde figurines — is finally getting with the times. On Thursday morning, Mattel announced the expansion of its "Fashionistas" line to include three new body types: tall, curvy and petite. The updated physiques will be rolling out through the year, and will live alongside its diverse skin tones and hair textures, which were introduced last year.

The spring line will be released over time throughout 2016, and will feature four body types (including its "original" version), seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles. Each doll, regardless of body type, rings in at $9.99, and the full collection is available for pre-order today via the Mattel Shop.

In a new Time exclusive, published to coincide with the dolls' launch on Thursday, the magazine writes that Mattel hopes the new body types "will more closely reflect their young owners' world." But was the company too late to the game altogether for the line to succeed commercially? No, Mattel argues. From 2012 to 2014, Barbie's sales slid a dramatic 20 percent, with even more of a decline reported last year. As the ideals of beauty have changed, so have the institutions that cater to it — yet Barbie will be first to deflect any criticism surrounding its modernization, or lack thereof. In October, the brand released a video for its "You Can Be Anything" campaign, encouraging young girls to dream about their future careers; the clip now has more than 20 million views on YouTube. But empowerment in the professional sense aside, Barbie's deficiency of body diversity has not only felt outdated, but arguably offensive, too. 

"Yes, some people will say we are late to the game," Evelyn Mazzocco, head of the Barbie brand at Mattel, told Time. "But changes at a huge corporation take time."

Welcome to the 21st century, Barbie. We've been waiting for you.

Learn more about the new dolls in a just-released campaign video, below. 

And click through the gallery to see all four new body types in action.