We’ve come a long way, Barbie

I haven’t played with Barbies in roughly 40 years, but my friends, I sense that is about to change.

Mattel, who is not paying me for this epic endorsement, just released 17 new Barbie dolls honoring “historic and modern day role models from around the world.”

These dolls were introduced this week ahead of International Women’s Day,  which is today – YAY US!

I have to tell you, I was a huge Barbie and Company groupie. I had them all – Barbie, Ken, Skipper, a couple of babies Skipper was in charge of babysitting, and Skipper’s second cousin from her mother’s side – all of whom were blonde and quite tan.

Because Mattel didn’t make a slightly-spastic with reddish-brown hair Barbie, who also wouldn’t tan and preferred jeans, I didn’t identify with my dolls as most of you can imagine accurately.

Mattel is releasing as part of its SHERO program (hold on to your tiny plastic pumps) dolls including famed pilot Amelia Earhart; Frida Kahlo – an incredible artist and the one somebody better get me for Christmas; Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician; Olympic Athlete Chloe Kim and boxer Nicola Adams, among many more.

This is huge, y’all.

This beautiful news comes at a time when Photoshop, Kardashians and “Full Beat Makeup” (read: perfectly applied) are placing unreasonable and unreachable expectations on young women who are already beautiful in their own rights.

And it’s hard to feel beatufiul when you are looking to achieve a perfection that only exists inside a computer program, or in the life of people with their own makeup artist.

I knew precisely one girl growing up who truly looked like Barbie, and she was gorgeous. She still is. But most of us don’t look like Barbie, we look like us.

And Mattel can’t cover us all, but they are getting closer.

So thank you, Mattel. It’s about time and it is appreciated that all girls can have a doll that meets their standards rather than trying to meet the doll’s standards.

Did I mention I really want these Barbies for Christmas?

We’ve come a long way, Barbie.

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2 thoughts on “We’ve come a long way, Barbie

  1. Yay for Barbie! Honey, I’m so old, I had one of the first Barbies. You could get a blonde or brunette ponytail. End of choices. But I happily added Ken, another Barbie with a bubble cut, the Dream House and the peach and turquoise sports car. I wanted to have a slinky sparkly black dress like Barbie’s lounge singer outfit (complete with LONG black gloves). Hurray for Mattel! Great story, Kari!

  2. I was dismayed that Skipper was taller than me and had all those dolls around him. Since I’m partial to redheads, Mattel also let me down by not having any redheads

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