"Barbie has continued to evolve over the years to better reflect the world girls see today, adding more diversity for endless storytelling possibilities," Mattel said

By Joelle Goldstein
January 28, 2020 03:13 PM
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Diverse barbies
Credit: Mattel

Children of all sizes, colors, and abilities will be able to see a relatable version of themselves in Mattel’s newest Barbie doll line, the famed toy company announced this week.

The Barbie Fashionistas line features 176 dolls, both male and female, with nine different body types, 35 skin tones, and 94 hairstyles — and according to the company, it’s their “most diverse doll line” yet.

“Barbie has continued to evolve over the years to better reflect the world girls see today, adding more diversity for endless storytelling possibilities,” Mattel wrote on their website.

For body types, Mattel is offering Barbies that have curvy, petite, and tall figures, in addition to their original sized doll. Ken dolls also have various body types, with some featuring narrow figures and others more broad shoulders.

Hairstyles will vary in color, texture, and style for both Barbie and Ken dolls. Some of them will have man buns or cornrows, while others might have pink or rainbow hair.

Another set of dolls is designed to represent those living with physical disabilities and will feature wheelchairs and prosthetic legs. There’s even a doll with vitiligo, which is a condition that causes loss of skin color in blotches.

Other diverse options customers can choose from include dolls with freckles and different fashion styles that vary “from casually cool to boho-bold,” which are all “inspired by the latest trends,” the company stated.

The dolls are available for purchase online and at retail stores, beginning at $9.99.

The Barbie Fashionistas launch comes just a few months after Mattel announced the company was releasing a new line of dolls created without gender labels attached, which the company said would be “offering endless combinations all in one box.”

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Along with dolls featuring various hairstyles, hair colors, and skin tones, each Creatable World Deluxe Character Kit comes with a different set of clothing and accessories to customize the doll’s look for playtime.

Senior vice president of Mattel fashion doll design Kim Culmone said in the September 2019 press release that the company “felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels” while “the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity,” considering “toys are a reflection of culture.”

“Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms,” Culmone added. “This line allows all kids to express themselves freely which is why it resonates so strongly with them.”