Over the past couple of decades I've noticed that Mattel is extremely responsive to the complaints of its customers. Evidence of this can be seen in the new Fashionistas and their modified bodies. I'm not sure if Mattel wanted to shut the Barbie Body Shaming Team up, or if they are trying to compete with Lammily, but either way they've started making Barbie bodies in new, "realistic" shapes. One of them is a heavy body, referred to on the packaging and the website as "curvy." I'm fortunate enough to own all three body shapes, and the curvy body is...well, it's definitely curvy!
My curvy doll is on the right, and it's pretty obvious that she's got a different body shape than the others. I owe you a review on these, by the way; I need to speak to Talolili and ask her if she'd like to do a co-review. She too has the blue-haired doll and her opinions may be different than mine. But I digress.
Most of the responses I've seen regarding these dolls have been positive. Liberal-rag TIME Magazine even ran a cover story on the subject, lauding Mattel's move and attempt to be more "all-inclusive." But wouldn't you know, someone is having a tizzy fit anyway. Jennifer Pitt, writer for liberal-rag Huffington Post, is upset because the separate sizes are labeled. Yeah...she's mad about LABELS!!! The different-sized dolls are in the Fashionistas line, and good ol' Jennifer thinks that's putting an unfair label on them. "Why can't all Barbies be Fashionistas?" she whines. She's also upset that each size is labeled. Don't believe me? Read the article!
Jennifer apparently is unaware that the Fashionistas are a line that's supposed to be set apart from the regular playline dolls. The Basics were that way, the Barbie LOOK dolls are that way, and the Fashionistas are too. The Fashionistas are the exact opposite of the LOOK dolls and the Basic dolls, being intended as budget toys. Indeed, I got my three girls for eight bucks a pop. Without the Fashionista label, it gets a little tricky to differentiate budget doll from doll that may cost a Jackson or more. As for the "curvy," "tall," "original," and "petite" labels, let's be honest. The dolls look highly similar to one another when they're in the box. If you look up at my picture again, you might notice that it's a smidge tricky to tell the tall and petite dolls from original-bodied dolls. It's easier when they're all standing together, but suppose a shelf had a cluster of petites or a cluster of talls. How could anyone tell a difference in height if the box isn't labeled??? I admit that I had trouble telling the dolls apart when I saw them for myself. The curvy girls stood out of course, but the petites and the talls sort of...blended in, I guess you could say. I wouldn't have had any clue that they were there had the box not been marked "TALL" or "PETITE."
I thought for sure that having a chunky doll would shut the haters up, but I guess the phrase "haters gonna hate" is true. No matter how hard Mattel tries, they can't please everyone. I think they know that, and while I admire their attempts to rectify problems, I think that there's only so much a toy company can take. If I were calling the shots at Mattel I'd gather my crew together and say "Screw it, we're doing it our way from now on. We're going back to the 1966 TNT body." Well, maybe I wouldn't. Because the new bodies sure are fun! I can see a few problems that I'll discuss when I get the review up and running, but they add a lot of visual diversity to my little dolly group.