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Bringing Up Barbie

Born This Way Foundation Team / February 2, 2016

Recently, we’ve had a lot to get excited about—the start to a new year, the launch of the #HackHarassment initiative, and our co-founder Lady Gaga’s Oscar nomination and Golden Globe win, to name just a few. And now we’re adding Barbie to our list. Last week, Mattel re-launched Barbie with three new body types: curvy, tall, and petite. With hundreds of skin tones, eye colors, and hairstyle combinations, we think Barbie has never looked better.

By increasing the visual diversity of Barbie, Mattel is making the iconic doll more relatable to young people all over the country. Richard Dickson, Mattel’s President and COO, said, “I think today, frankly more so than any other time, Barbie is truly representing what girls see.” We agree – although we’d add that playing with Barbie isn’t just for one gender!


Part of the reason this change is so important is because of for the past 57 years, Barbie has been an icon. Many young people grow up idolizing Barbie, and seeing her as a friend. These new looks will go a long way towards empowering people of all ages to accept acceptance and to embrace individuality.

It’s inspiring to imagine how brave children will feel playing with a doll that looks like them, or the people they see every day. At Born This Way Foundation, we love that – and we can’t wait to see more toys that reflect a vision of a braver, kinder world.