Mattel Debuts New Barbie Doll | 22 Words

Despite Barbie's problematic history when it comes to lack of diversity, it seems as though things are starting to change.

Mattel has released their latest Barbie doll honoring one of America's most inspiring women. Though she isn't the only woman Barbie is honoring as part of the range...

Mattel revealed its latest Barbie doll just 2 weeks before Black History Month.

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And the new addition to their "Inspiring Women" series has got everyone talking...

Although Barbie hasn't always been viewed as the best role model, in fact, she's had a pretty problematic history.

The Barbie Doll is one of the most iconic children's toys, with the blonde-haired, blue-eyed figurine dating all the way back to 1959.

Barbie was first brought to life by Mattel co-founder, Ruth Handler.

Ruth felt inspired after she noticed her young daughter, Barbara, playing with makeshift paper dolls.

She decided to give these paper dolls a little more life...

And thus designed a 3D doll, suitable for young girls far and wide to play out their dreams with.

Ruth pitched the idea of Barbie around the premise of inspiring young girls...

"My whole philosophy of Barbie was that, through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices."

And, off this premise, Barbie went from strength to strength.

To date, it is estimated that over a billion varieties of the Barbie doll have been sold across 150 different countries - this makes her the most successful fashion doll to ever exist.

But, despite Barbie's popularity...

And Ruth's pro-feminist philosophy when creating the doll, there have been many issues surrounding the fashion figurine.

Mattel has long promoted Barbie as a progressive and modern woman...

And they have given her a variety of impressive and aspiring job roles, such as scientist and doctor, in the process.

But there was still an ongoing issue regarding Barbie's image...

And no amount of impressive job titles would change it.

Let's start with the obvious...

Barbie has consistently had a ridiculously unattainable appearance that seriously lacks in diversity.

Her shiny blonde hair, those sparkling blue eyes...

And her minuscule cinched waist all contribute to a rather unrealistic beauty standard amongst young girls.

And, in recent years...

The doll has been put under more and more scrutiny regarding her undiverse and, quite simply, unrealistic appearance.

Beauty standards amongst women has changed drastically in the last decade...

And this has ultimately put a strain on Barbie's iconic, yet obviously overdone blonde-haired and blue-eyed aesthetic.

People have been calling to see a more diverse Barbie.

And the doll's manufacturer, Mattel, clearly under pressure, has been working hard to broaden their diversity range amongst the dolls.

Barbie is now available in a range of different ethnicities...

And a range of different, yet realistic, body shapes that represent all types of women.

The doll even caters to a variety of different religions.

Muslim women far and wide rejoiced when the hijab-wearing Barbie was unveiled in 2017.

And, last year, the first Barbie doll featuring a disability was unveiled.

"Barbie in a wheelchair" and "Barbie with a prosthetic leg" were added to the "Fashionistas" range in February 2019.

Kim Culmone, Vice President of Barbie Design, told Teen Vogue that one of the most frequent requests Mattel received was for a doll in a wheelchair. So, the company worked alongside people with disabilities to bring the dolls to life in the most accurate way possible.

These unique dolls were a hit...

And they became the 2 best selling Barbie Fashionista dolls last year, the company claimed.

This boost in diversity has proven to work wonders for Barbie...

And she isn't slowing down anytime soon.


And now, Mattel is debuting a new Barbie doll honoring Maya Angelou, and she's been an instant success.

Mattel

The Barbie proudly holds Angelou's most famous piece of literature I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

The figurine is part of Barbie's Inspiring Women series which includes a host of other influential women...

Mattel

Such as Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony and lots more.

The doll was made available for preorder on January fourteenth but instantly sold out.

Mattel

We can't wait top get our hands on one when they restock!

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