Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

or
clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Barbie Introduces Petite, Tall, and Curvy Dolls

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Since the Barbie doll's creation in 1959, the doll's singular — and controversial — figure has been tall and slender, but now Mattel is introducing three new Barbie body types: tall, petite, and curvy.

The new Barbie Fashionistas line will reflect a larger portion of the population and allow girls "to find a doll that resonates with them," according to a press release. The line will include seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 24 hairstyles.

However, Time reports that the real impetus for the shift — after not budging for almost six decades — is that sales of Barbie dolls have dropped off. "Staying the course was not an option," Eliana Dockterman writes for Time. "Barbie sales plummeted 20% from 2012 to 2014 and continued to fall last year."

America's ever-changing standards of beauty also influenced the line of dolls. "The curvaceous bodies of Kim Kardashian West, Beyoncé and Christina Hendricks have become iconic, while millennial feminist leaders like Lena Dunham are deliberately baring their un-Barbie-like figures onscreen," Dockterman says. "In this environment, a new generation of mothers favor what they perceive as more-empowering toys for their daughters."

Namely, dolls of Frozen's main character Elsa, who has stolen $500 million dollars of revenue from Mattel, Time reports. And although Elsa has similar body proportions, she is seen as a strong hero and protagonist.

"The millennial mom is a small part of our consumer base," Barbie's head of brand Evelyn Mazzocco tells Time. "But we recognize she's the future."

The new line of dolls is already available at Mattel's online shop.