With her exaggerated features and small physique, Barbie can be recognised in every country across the world. For many girls, growing up with Barbie was huge, idolising her iconic beauty and unrealistic features. Barbie offered girls with the first indicator of the unrealistic and corruptive representations within the media surrounding women’s size and beauty. The brands depiction of beauty and size has stirred up huge controversy over the years, producing the “ideal” representation of femininity for girls as they grow up. The Brand has remained marginally the same since it began in 1959, producing the identical doll repeatedly, but with slightly different costumes and facial features. However, the brand has recently released “Barbie Fashionistas’s” featuring 33 new dolls, 7 different skin tones, 3 new body shapes and 24 hairstyles, ultimately re-branding itself into the twenty-first century real woman.
Growing up with Barbie as the leading doll in the industry, it is practically impossible for a young girl to never come into contact with one at least once in your life. However, the representations of Barbie in the past have always been unrealistic in the eye of an everyday woman. For many girls growing up and maturing, Barbie had a huge impact in the representation of appearance, style and indicators for girls in how they should look. Barbie depicts beauty and glamour through an unequal representation of women in society. Dolls like Barbie are the first indicators of how girls should dress and present themselves to the outside world, but with such an exaggeration on weight and size, girls from a young age can begin noticing the expectations of themselves in such an appearance based society. With her blonde hair, long legs and petite physique, it is no wonder why girls from such a young age begin developing self-esteem problems within themselves, which is where controversy surrounding Barbie’s appearance prevails.
Following criticism surrounding expectations for women and proportions of the doll, the brand has catapulted into 2016 with a bang, re-branding Barbie with new sizes, skin tones and hairstyles, becoming more representational of girls and women in the twenty-first century. The evolution of Barbie has begun finally, after nearly 60 years, creating new standards of beauty in which we accept in everyday society. The collection has become revolutionised in so many ways, highlighting the cultural change and acceptance, supporting women and girls to feel comfortable with the way they look and revitalising woman’s self-confidence.
It is a great step in the right direction, allowing young girls to feel as though they belong no matter the way they look, allowing themselves to feel accepted in this ever-changing world.
Written By Lottie Woodrow
image source- stuffpoint.com