Barbie’s makers, Mattel, bring you Ashley Graham plus-sized beautiful realness with her likeness revealed at the Glamour Awards and people are loving it! Good bye thigh gap, hello natural sass!
Well, MOST people are loving it. The internet will always do its best to be both supportive and abrasive in equal measure. If a more “normal” sized Barbie doll is subject to online abuse, how can it’s flesh and bone counterparts make any headway in a sizeist culture? Is it doing more harm, then help?ICYMI this is the super fly Barbie in question:
Different shaped Barbie’s is a relatively new approach Mattel have been taking, and even though you cannot buy Ashley Graham’s doll, you can buy plus-sized dolls.
Despite the good we feel like this should be doing, there’s comments like these that make us wonder if attitudes are ever going to change:
@BuzzFeed DIABETES BARBIE. DO THEY MAKE ONE THAT SMOKES TWO PACKS A DAY AS WELL?
— Blake Fonda (@blakefonda) November 15, 2016
— Suck on that, TTUN! (@Sloopyinca) November 15, 2016
@TIME Overweight woman wants her barbie doll to reinforce her insecurities about living a unhealthy lifestyle. Oh, the irony!
— Mike Hammer (@pibbledaddy) November 15, 2016
Escalating to the downright horrendous:
— Mike Swartzentruber (@swartz86) November 15, 2016
Barbie was originally created in the image of what a man’s fantasy of woman would look like.
So does she carry the right kind of cultural prestige to start to change the conversation about body shape? Comments like this suggest not:
It also doesn't have a brain.
— Citizen Assange (@Senator_Assange) November 16, 2016
— Joseph (@Freedomornot92) November 15, 2016
On the flipside, whereas Barbie might not be the role model to change the world for girls and women around the world. But maybe inspirational women like Ashley Graham are.
It feels like until “normal” shapes stop being a total novelty it’s a fruitless effort to place achievements like this on a pedestal. It shouldn’t be remarkable that a girl’s toy reflects what a real female body looks like, should it?
What do you think? Are bigger Barbie dolls a step in the right direction, or should we stop focusing on plastic idols and concentrate on the real?