Arts

Barbie gets real

Skinny, big boobs and perfect blonde hair are just some of the ways you could describe a Barbie doll – but not anymore.

On Jan. 28, Mattel Toy Co. released a new line of Barbie dolls to include tall, petite, and curvy figures. The new line also added new skin tones, eye-colors, hair-colors and hairstyles.

In an article in USA Today, Senior Vice President of Mattel Evelyn Mazzocco said, “We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty.”

Barbie dolls have typically been criticized for their unrealistic beauty standards that are portrayed to young girls. Mattel’s new ‘real size’ Barbie’s are an attempt to represent a more diverse range of beauty.

Castleton Social work student Cassandra Pitts is thrilled with the new line.

“It’s about time Barbie had a doll that reflects a wider range of women,” she said.

However, some still believe Barbie has a long way to go to reach true diversification.

“They [Mattel] have not gotten away from the standard,” said Sanjukta Ghosh, professor of communication and Women’s and Gender Studies

In a blog for yourtango.com, Sheila Hageman also voiced her concerns about Barbie’s new additions.    “Mattel’s ‘Curvy’ doll is still an idealized female stereotype,” Hageman said.

Another complaint is Mattel’s blind eye to unrealistic male beauty standards.

“ Why haven’t they made a new Ken doll? Not every guy has six-pack abs,” Castleton exercise science student Logan Seamans said.

Melinda Mills, coordinator of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Castleton, while pleased with the ‘real size’ dolls, desires something more.

“What I would really like to see is a society that encourages and embraces this diversity in real people, who are able to feel good about and love themselves as they already are,” Mills said.

While highly anticipated, there’s no hiding that the new Barbie doll has fallen short of expectation.

“Woman are skinny, curvy, plump, fat and everything in-between.  We aren’t white or black – we’re every shade imaginable.  We can’t be categorized neatly.  We don’t want to be placed into figurative cardboard boxes,” Hageman said.