Mattel has finally released a “curvy” Barbie

Barbie’s new look.
Barbie’s new look.
Image: Mattel
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

After 57 years in the toy aisle, Barbie finally has curves like a real woman.

Toymaker Mattel is introducing three new body types for Barbie today (Jan. 28), including tall, petite, and, most notably, curvy dolls with meat on their tummies, backsides, and thighs, Time reported. The new dolls will be sold online alongside Barbie’s original stacked, stick-thin form, for the same price.

The diverse doll lineup was designed for the upcoming generation of millennial moms who are looking for more empowering toys to give their children, Evelyn Mazzocco, head of the Barbie brand, told Time.

“The millennial mom is a small part of our consumer base, but we recognize she’s the future,” Mazzocco said, before acknowledging that it has taken the brand quite a while, some have said too long, to make its dolls more representative of general public. ”Yes, some people will say we are late to the game. But changes at a huge corporation take time.”

The curvy doll also has the potential to change the way girls perceive body image. During testing, Mattel’s research team noticed that a few girls said the dolls were “fat.” The goal is that, over time, they’ll just see curvy Barbie as another doll.

Some women on social media offered their support for Mattel’s risky move, while others have questioned why we lean on toys and pop culture to define body norms.

Mattel has been fighting an uphill battle to revive the Barbie brand amid years of sagging sales. The brand—the toymaker’s former crown jewel—still brings in about $1 billion in revenue year, according to the company.

Over the past year, Mattel has rolled out a diverse new line of Barbie dolls with a range of hair and eye colors, skin tones, and facial structures. It launched exclusive lines modeled after heroines like Selma director Ava DuVernay, and even featured boys in its advertising in a bid to become more inclusive. It also added a super-hero doll, decked out in hot-pink, to the Barbie lineup and a talking doll that can actually hold a conversation to tap into the super-hero and smart-toy craze.

In 2014, another US toymaker, Lammily, made a splash when it introduced a line of dolls whose bodies are based on average body proportions, underscoring a broader shift toward more realistic body images.

Mattel will report its fourth quarter earnings on Feb. 1, when it will reveal how the Barbie brand performed over the holiday season.

Mattel did not immediately respond to Quartz’s request for comment on how it arrived at the doll’s measurements.