|At last! Not everybody in the Barbie world has to be the same height! I am represented by the short girl, by the way.|
"By introducing more variety into the line, Barbie® is offering girls choices that are better reflective of the world they see today.
The new 2016 Barbie® Fashionistas® collection includes 4 body types, 7 skin tones, 18 eye colors, 18 hairstyles, and countless on-trend fashions and accessories."
I was hoping that meant you could choose hair,and eye colour, and skin tone for the body type you wanted. It doesn't seem to be the case though. There are several dolls of each body type, but they are already made with set skin tones, and hair and eye colours.
For the time being the dolls are only available on the Mattel website. I can see that, because how much shelf space is all this individuality going to take? Of course, if there weren't fifty million of each character in different outfits, maybe there'd be room. (What happened to the days when you got one doll and then bought clothes for it?!) Mattel is even selling fashions for each size doll. Sounds like a big money commitment.
But I'm not sure it's going to help sales all that much. In 2014 the Lammily doll was introduced, a doll with supposedly more realistic body proportions than Barbie.
|She's still not widely available though.|
|She had bendy arms and legs, and a horrible face. I'm afraid I usually refer to her as 'Happy to be Ugly'. I don't care how realistic her body is, no kid wants to play with an ugly doll that's not quirky or fun, just badly sculpted.|
But do kids want realism in their dolls? Is that what's going to save Barbie? After all, the problems started when Bratz started beating Barbie in sales: dolls with giant heads, giant lips, and giant feet...that detached!
|And almost no noses. How do they smell? It ain't easy!|
For the record, it has never really bothered me that Barbie isn't realistically proportioned. For one thing, she's a doll. She's a fantasy object. I never saw myself in my dolls, or thought I had to grow up to look like them. (With some of my dolls that would have been a pretty scary thought!) I think people think about that type of thing more now. I just used to play, and my dolls were their own people. I didn't have to be like them. For another thing, everyone is attracted to attractive things and people. That's why they're called attractive. It's natural for a little kid to want to play with a 'pretty' doll. After all, who wants to play with an ugly doll? (Ok, other than me. As a kid I always loved the goofy looking dolls, like Brat dolls, (Not Bratz dolls. Brat, from the 60's.)
|Like this guy.This isn't mine, but mine looks just like this. I've had this guy since I was a kid. He originally blew up a balloon, attached in his mouth, when you squeezed his belly.|
|Ken can't even look at her. He says she looks like 'Ignorance and Want' from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".|
...and Susie Sad Eyes and Susie Slicker.
|My childhood generic Sad Eyes doll by Chadwick Miller, and my replacement Susie Slicker. (To replace the one my cousin stole...oh let's not go into THAT again!)|
Not only does the idea of beauty change over time,but everybody has a different idea of beauty too. My Dad thought a woman with a big butt was a thing of beauty. My husband Ken likes big hairy eyebrows, and legs. (I don't think it even matters what the legs look like, as long as he can see them.Although, I didn't mean 'big hairy' legs.Just eyebrows.) I recently read an article that said studies show that men and women don't even have the same ideas of what makes a woman beautiful. Apparently, most men prefer women with little or no make up.(You can read the Time magazine article HERE.) There was even one study done that says men prefer the woman with the biggest spinal curve! (You can read about that HERE.) Man, I must be GORGEOUS! (And in constant pain!)That accounts for all those models who look like they're trying to turn themselves inside out.
|It gets worse than this,but I didn't want to get too racy here. By the way, this comes from a site called "Total Beauty"! There you go!|
So I'm looking forward to seeing all these new Barbies, but I don't know that this is going to be the game changer Mattel is looking for.