For much of the last 60 years, Barbie has been scrutinized as an impossible physical ideal for young girls, so this step into more diversity bodies and inclusive dolls is huge—and Mattel knows it.
On the toy brand’s 60th anniversary, it is branching out and has released dolls that have different body shapes, and most recently a doll in a wheelchair, the most requested doll and one with a prosthetic arm.
In its press release about the new dolls, Mattel highlighted that it is also including in this newest offerings that will be available in the fall is a doll with micro braided hair texture!
This is not the first time that micro-braids have been featured on a Barbie doll, however.
In 2001, Mattel released a Princess of the Nile Barbie Doll as part of its Dolls of the World – The Princess Collection line of collectible dolls.
But those collector dolls are usually quite expensive and not meant to be played with by little girls. The Zendaya doll with faux locs and the Ava Duvarney doll with dread locs were also limited edition and a collector’s items.
The one being released this Autumn will be!
It’s still refreshing to see the brand come into the future. Perhaps Mattel was motivated by the rise of quite a few other succdessful doll makers who stepped up to the plate to fulfill a need.
I can point to artists like Karen Byrd who sells custom dolls with natural hairstyles on her Natural Girls United website.