Barbie has long since been in the firing line for the totally unrealistic body type that she possesses; her waist has always been unnaturally small and her legs seem to go on for days. Earlier this year however, Barbie received a makeover and the transformation saw Barbies of all different shapes and sizes go into production.
But now, her creators Mattel, have gone one step further, by creating a Barbie for model, Ashley Graham, which was presented to the 28 year old at Glamour's Woman of the Year Awards last night. She told the Huffington Post that when the Barbie was going into production, she gave Mattel just one condition: that the doll's thighs had to touch.
“All we did was take 360 degree photos of my body to send to them, and afterward we fleshed out some details,” she said. The colour of my hair, a few details on my face like beauty marks and full eyebrows. The number one prerequisite, though, was that her thighs touched. I was like, ‘Guys, we can make this Barbie, but if her thighs don’t touch, she’s not authentic.’”
Speaking at the awards last night she said:
“I never really thought that I didn’t look like her [Barbie] growing up, I just thought she was perfect, if I had a Barbie that was my size, I would have thought my size was normal. Young girls now get to grow up seeing that their bodies are normal, which I think is so empowering and encouraging to the younger generation.”
Preach preach preach preach. I am loving ALL OF THIS.
Unfortunately this doll was made as a one off thing and they won't be available to the public, but if I'm honest, this feels like such a good step in the right direction that I'm not sure it matters. It was great news when Mattel released the 22 different shaped Barbies earlier this year and this to me just feels like another nail in the coffin for the ridiculous pressure and expectations put on young girls.
I love that Ashley Graham is such an incredible advocate for body positivity and I love even more that she has been able to team up with Barbie for what, in the land of plastic dolls at least, is a pretty ground breaking event.
Onwards and upwards girls!