Barbie has introduced a new line of Fashionista dolls and some of them-gasp!-have flat feet. They’re wearing wedge sandals and actual flat shoes even.
“The range includes 23 dolls that feature 14 different facial sculpts, eight skin tones, 18 eye colours, and 23 hair colours with fashions reflecting authentic street style,” a spokesperson told Buzzfeed.
The dolls will be rolled out through October. And, according to CNN, “The latest line of diverse Barbies may find fans among a growing number of parents who want dolls to reflect the broad ethnic diversity of women and a wide range of possibilities for girls’ futures. Barbie isn’t the only doll that’s starting to look a little more like the girls who play with them.”
Here are a few more of the dolls from the line, posted on Instagram with the caption: “There’s no better way to #BeSuper than being you! How do you express yourself through style? #Barbie Click the link in our bio to shop!”
Over the past year or so, Barbie has seen its dominant position in the toy market slip. In response, there have been a few stunts, like Entrepreneur Barbie, which basically gave regular Barbie a briefcase, and a partnership with the Girl Scouts, that had her in one of the iconic uniforms.
But the issue that people have always had with Barbie is the fact that she’s unrealistic and shallow. There have been articles written about how her waist is too small for an actual human woman to achieve. How the brand is reliant on superficial accessories and an image of beauty that excludes many of the girls who will want to play with the doll and hold it up as a feminine standard.
By introducing some diversity-Flat feet! Curly hair! Dark skin!-the brand is changing the look of the doll, something it seems to have been nervous about doing in the past. Now it can encompass the traditional Barbie as well as all of these other dolls that expand not just the consumer base, but the prospects for marketing the doll.
It’ll be interesting to see just how popular the line of Fashionista dolls gets.