A First For Ashley Graham and Barbie
Plus-sized Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model Ashley Graham has broken down yet another barrier—the popular model now has her very own Barbie doll. And not just any Barbie doll, a plus-sized Barbie doll!
The event marks yet another landmark decision made by the toy giant Mattel. Back in January of this year, the company announced that they would be adding curvier looking Barbies to their current line-up of dolls. The brand also said that there would be seven different options in skin tone to choose from, along with 22 eye colors, and 24 diverse hair types. Additionally, consumers can choose the height of their doll, either in ‘tall’, ‘curvy’, or ‘petite’.
Graham represents Barbie’s first celebrity brand spokesperson in some time, and she told The Hollywood Reporter that she demanded that her version of the Barbie doll follow her likeness to a ‘T.’ Regarding the doll’s physical features, Graham said, “She had to have her thighs touch. No ands, ifs, or buts about it.”
The special edition doll was first unveiled to the media at Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year Summit in Los Angeles. It was there that Graham showed off her mini-me. She went on to say “She got a round belly. She got round hips. She got everything round, yes!”
Barbie’s “True” Measurements
The toy brand has garnered much criticism over the years concerning Barbie’s unrealistic body image which has been sold to young girls for over 55 years. In fact, based on her measurements, specialists say that if the doll were a living person, her proportions would be considered to be deformed and ghastly, with a 16-inch waist, 3.5-inch wrists, and a 32-inch bust. Body experts say that Barbie would not be able to walk on her own, and that her back would not be able to support such disproportionately large breasts.
Mattel’s New Wave of Plus-sized Barbie Doll
The release of the new Ashley Graham Barbie doll comes in the wake of what seems to be quite a powerful cultural shift in regards to how the country views body image. The popularity of what is affectionately referred to as ‘The Fat Acceptance Movement’ has given the opportunity for bigger women to display themselves in a safe environment on various social media networks like Instagram and Twitter.
Richard Dickerson, the president and COO at Mattel, has made it clear that the company wants to follow in the trend. Dickerson released a statement in regards to the new diverse collection saying, “Barbie reflects the world girls see around them. Her ability to evolve and grow with the times, while staying true to her spirit, is central to why Barbie is the number one fashion doll in the world.”