Mattel has introduced three new Barbie dolls to reflect different body types, but come on, what little girl wants a fat Barbie?
Of course they're not calling her 'fat' but Curvy Barbie isn't fooling anyone.
Mattel thinks that releasing a Petite, Tall, and Curvy Barbie will placate parents who complain that the doll has fostered body image problems with it's impossibly thin physique.
Now that Mattel has shown it will give in to public pressure, look out!
The new body types are featured in the brand's 2016 Fashionistas line, which also include seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles. But it won't be enough.
Because no sooner than Mattel brings out the body diversity Barbies, a petition is launched demanding a Selena Barbie for Latina girls.
A young Nigerian woman is causing a sensation among Muslim women on Instagram by dressing her Barbie in hijabs, which Mattel has managed to overlook in its haste to appease Western moms.
But don't start thinking Mattel is socially conscious all of a sudden.
The Barbie market has plummeted in the last few years, down 20% since the advent of the Kardashians.
The company may just be trying to keep up with the new ideal in pop culture beauty, but unless they're trying to attract rappers and football players, a doll with a protruding tummy and hips is not what most consumers are looking for.
The whole controversy about Barbie's effect on girls is not new and actually much more complicated than one might think.
Studies show conflicting outcomes of exposure to Barbie.
Is her thin body aspirational or the trigger for eating disorders?
A study in 2006 found that for very young girls, the original doll's proportions cause body dissatisfaction.
But for older girls, aged 7 to 8, exposure to (plus-sized dolls) had the undesirable, opposite effect of increasing body dissatisfaction.
According to the study:
For these older girls, if they had already internalized the thinness ideal, then the depiction of a full body could represent a possible, but feared, future self.
You know what? It's going to take much more than a Barbie to tackle the problems of female self-esteem and body dissatisfaction.
Fashion magazines and advertisements, TV and movies, unequal wages, longstanding cultural norms and pressures are at work every day, sending out messages, mostly to make people feel inadequate so they will be driven to buy more products.
We'll need more than Flat-Chested Barbie to stop girls from wanting implants.
It's not Barbie's fault that everywhere you look, bloated fish lips are looking back at you.
Social media is reacting with joking depictions of a new Ken doll: Hipster Ken, Dadbod Ken, Beer-belly Ken.
But there are no plans for a new Ken. Nobody gives a shit about Ken. Where are those Ken Studies, eh? Ken is just a prop, like Brad Pitt.
Meanwhile, Mattel has set up a separate complaints line to deal with the new sizes because the company is geared up for new objections.
Popdust readers, what's your take on the new Fat Barbie?
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