I watched the Barbie movie this week and it was obvious from the film that Mattel are trying hard to change the image of the doll, but what affect has really had on self-image?
Barbie now comes as a doctor, she’s in a wheelchair, she’s multicultural, all very diverse and moving in the right direction.
However, it wasn’t lost on me that the Barbies in the film didn’t come in many different shapes and sizes and every single one of them had long, flowing locks.
Apart from Weird Barbie, who had short hair and DM’s.
For me, weird Barbie, who was described as “ugly” at one point (err, have you seen the beauty that is Kate McKinnon who plays her? If she’s ugly I must be Quasimodo in comparison), was the coolest of the lot with her cargos and stylish haircut and yet, the message was that you don’t want to be like her.
Do we want young girls to be growing up with the messaging that you’re weird if you have short hair? Or that cellulite is horrific? Or that there’s only one shape (mostly unattainable for the majority of us) we can be?
Women will always come in different shapes and sizes, the majority of those women will end up with cellulite at some point and not all of them will have long hair. And that’s okay. In fact it’s more than okay, whatever you look like you are beautiful. And that’s the messaging we should be giving young girls.
For many years I wanted those thick, flowing locks, I wanted to have those long legs and that sun kissed tan but it will always be unachievable because I’m 5’2” with pale skin and baby hair that doesn’t grow.
Does this make me “weird” and someone who should be hidden away from sight? Hell no!
We all deserve to be celebrated and while I commend how far Barbie has come since its launch in 1959 it still feels like it’s behind the times when it comes to self-image and celebrating our uniqueness.
What do you think?