‘Why would you want a fat Barbie?’ Internet gives mixed reaction to re-designed dolls
Barbie’s maker Mattel is dragging itself into the 21st century with a new line of dolls intended to reflect the modern world – but the internet is having very mixed feelings about it.
Often criticized for a portrayal of women focusing on white, tall, and disproportionately thin dolls, Mattel has introduced three new body types for its most famous creation – curvy, tall, and petite.
Although the company rakes in around $1 billion annually through the sale of Barbie dolls, competition from other brands has resulted in sales of the iconic diva falling by 20 percent between 2012 and 2014, Time reports.
In an attempt to claw back its profit margins, the company has shifted its focus to what Barbie might look like in a more modern context.
The result is, basically, that slightly chubbier, taller, and shorter Barbies have been developed. Mattel also boasts that the new range of dolls come in "7 skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 24 hairstyles."
Twitter has come alight with reaction to the new dolls, with many welcoming the changes.
ahh the new barbie dolls are so pretty pic.twitter.com/gDSaIUPfQn— tin man (@kinkshames) January 28, 2016
SO happy to see all of the new Barbie bodies! pic.twitter.com/O22iXsBpna— gabifresh (@gabifresh) January 28, 2016
Others though, weren’t so sure.
I'm glad I was raised in the 50's when a doll was an object, not a role model, & boys could call me a cootie without going to the principal— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) January 28, 2016
While acknowledging the modern dolls were a step in the right direction, some Twitter users felt Mattel hadn’t gone far enough with their changes.
where is trans barbie— hari nef (@harinef) January 28, 2016
i see they still don't have a #Barbie who vapes. we've a long way to go yet— Chris Greene (@HateChrisGreene) January 28, 2016
Barbie is adding new body types like curvy & tall. What about flat assed with tiny ankles? https://t.co/KeHHZ52LrZ— HEATHER McDONALD (@HeatherMcDonald) January 28, 2016
While some of Barbie’s male fans have called for Ken to now become more realistic as well.
Now that Barbie is sorted- I'd appreciate a "skinny dude" Ken doll or a bloated "college years" Ken doll. Or a "young father" Ken doll.— Tyson Ritter (@tysonritter) January 28, 2016
The 2016 Barbie redesigns are great but the 2016 Ken redesign is even better. pic.twitter.com/muqb5DdI5h— Brian Altano (@agentbizzle) January 28, 2016