Average Barbie (Arbie?) is shorter and thicker than regular ol’ Barbie. Granted, Arbie retains the same athletic build, absence of belly button, Jersey Shore tan, and unnatural bleach blondness. And Arbie is still obscenely pretty, with her Barbie doll good looks and permanent makeup and whatnot. Still, we cannot help but appreciate this makeover.
We hear all the time about how many young women have eating disorders or are unhappy with their bodies (and it affects boys, too). Personally, I struggled for years with my body image, and did some questionable things to lose weight/fit into a certain size/be “attractive” to boys. And I still have days where I call myself fat or ugly—especially after reading a fashion magazine or spending a little too much time on Pinterest—even though I am (pretty) sure that’s not true. Pretty sure.
We don’t think that changing one doll or one retailer’s models will make a huge difference, but we appreciate any body diversity… especially since every other toy out there is getting sleeker and sexier (like Strawberry Shortcake, Candy Land, Merida, and Rainbow Bright). We realize Barbie is an unattainable ideal in many situations other than her body—after all, who else gets to be an astronaut, news anchor, surfer, and a pop star? Still, we would love to give our little sisters an “Arbie” who looks a little more like a person who could walk around on two legs (fun fact: If Barbie was a real woman, she’d have to walk on all fours due to her proportions).
Sparklers, what do you think? Does body diversity matter when it comes to things like Barbies and other toys?