Despite being the most successful fashion doll in the world, our friend Barbie has long had an issue with diversity. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed look has been way overdone, and people have been calling for a more diverse range in dolls for years now.

But, in more recent times, the doll has had a diverse makeover, and there are now hundreds of varieties of the doll, all of which represent different types of men, women, and disabilities.

Keep scrolling for the full story...

 

Barbie has a long, yet somewhat problematic history.

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The Barbie Doll is one of the most iconic children's toys, with the blonde-haired, blue-eyed figurine dating all the way back to 1959.

Barbie was first brought to life by Mattel co-founder, Ruth Handler.

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Ruth felt inspired after she noticed her young daughter, Barbara, playing with makeshift paper dolls.

She decided to give these paper dolls a little more life...

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And thus designed a 3D doll, suitable for young girls far and wide to play out their dreams with.

Queue the birth of Barbie.

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And, as most of you will know, she was an instant hit.

Ruth pitched the idea of Barbie around the premise of inspiring young girls...

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"My whole philosophy of Barbie was that, through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices."

And, off this premise, Barbie went from strength to strength.

To date, it is estimated that over a billion varieties of the Barbie doll have been sold across 150 different countries - This makes her the most successful fashion doll to ever exist.

But, despite Barbie's popularity...

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And Ruth's pro-feminist philosophy when creating the doll, there have been many issues surrounding the fashion figurine.

Mattel has long promoted Barbie as a progressive and modern woman...

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And they have given her a variety of impressive and aspiring job roles, such as scientist and doctor, in the process.

But there was still an ongoing issue regarding Barbie's image...

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And no amount of impressive job titles would change it.

Let's start with the obvious...

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Barbie has consistently had a ridiculously unattainable appearance that seriously lacks in diversity.

Her shiny blonde hair, those sparkling blue eyes...

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And her minuscule cinched waist all contribute to a rather unrealistic beauty standard amongst young girls.

And, in recent years...

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The doll has been put under more and more scrutiny regarding her undiverse and, quite simply, unrealistic appearance.

Beauty standards amongst women has changed drastically in the last decade...

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And this has ultimately put a strain on Barbie's iconic, yet obviously overdone blonde-haired and blue-eyed aesthetic.

People have been calling to see a more diverse Barbie.

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And the doll's manufacturer, Mattel, clearly under pressure, has been working hard to broaden their diversity range amongst the dolls.

Barbie is now available in a range of different ethnicities...

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And a range of different, yet realistic, body shapes that represent all types of women.

The doll even caters to a variety of different religions.

Muslim women far and wide rejoiced when the hijab-wearing Barbie was unveiled in 2017.

And, last year, the first Barbie doll featuring a disability was unveiled.

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"Barbie in a wheelchair" and "Barbie with a prosthetic leg" were added to the Fashionistas range in February 2019. Kim Culmone, Vice President of Barbie Design, told Teen Vogue that one of the most frequent requests Mattel received was for a doll in a wheelchair. So, the company worked alongside people with disabilities to bring the dolls to life in the most accurate way possible.

These unique dolls were a hit...

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And they became the 2 best selling Barbie Fashionista dolls last year, the company claimed.

This boost in diversity has proven to work wonders for Barbie...

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And she isn't slowing down anytime soon.

This week, Mattel has unveiled even more versions of Barbie...

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And they cover an even wider range of diverse looks.

Introducing: The latest Barbie Fashionistas line.

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They're simply beautiful, aren't they?

The new dolls represent an array of different women...

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Including those who live with Vitiligo, the skin condition which causes patches of skin to lose their pigment.

There is also a doll that represents women who suffer from hair loss.

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Whether it be those who suffer from alopecia, hair loss from chemotherapy, or just a hairstyle choice, women with no hair can now feel represented. Speaking of the Barbie with no hair, the company said: "If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line."

Obviously, people are loving the new line.

And thousands of women have taken to Twitter to express their joy over the diverse new dolls.

So many more women will feel included with the new dolls...

And many have expressed how pleased they are that today's children will grow up with such amazing toys to look up to. Disabilities aren't the only things Barbie has been covering... Keep scrolling to read about the gender-neutral Barbie.