If you have a Facebook account or any other form of social media, you’re sure to have noticed that in doll news Barbie has been making headlines. For the first time ever, Barbie is seemingly embracing change, diversity, and the individual differences of the little girls playing with her. From body types, weight, height, skin tones, facial features, and hair and eye colors, she will now come in all shapes and sizes, just like the rest of us. There’s even a blue-haired Barbie being displayed, for avant garde parents who don’t mind their little girls aspiring to non-natural colored locks.
But why is this so exciting to us fans and owners of the original Barbie? Because that’s what she was all about from the start! The first Barbie dolls out on the market were produced with three different hair colors: blonde, brunette, and redhead. As a fashion-conscious child, you wanted your Barbie to be an extension of you, one that you would select special outfits reflecting your own personal style. Granted, three different hair colors may not seem particularly diverse to a modern audience, but it was a significant direction for the time.
So why did we lose that vision? Why did we allow blonde hair and blue eyes to become the only celebrated features? Sure, we had Barbie’s friends, like Teresa, Midge, and Christie to celebrate other ethnicities and colorings, but we all knew deep down inside that Barbie was the star. And for the first time, in a long time, little girls will be able to envision themselves as the ones running the show… just like we did with our original dolls.