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Barbie Goes Multilcultural
- Gaynor Humphrey
Its nice to hear that Mattel have finally decided to bring Barbie in to the 21st century by offering her in a variety of different skin colours, as well body shapes.
Launched in 1959 Barbie has resolutely clung to the standard all American version of beauty. It is said that Barbie's waist would be just 29inches (against the average of 40 inches for a normal USA woman) and we would not like to think how this would compare to her breast size.
So its great that Mattel will launch Barbie as a more multicultural range and also offer different body sizes.
But the big question is what took them so long? Its hardly as if its a revolutionary idea.
Pebble have been offering dolls in a variety of skin colours since they started in 2010 because they have always recognised that the world consists of more than just blonde, white women. Kids want to play with dolls which reflect their own identity, and that includes girls and boys.
The issue that play specialists have always had with dolls like Barbie is that they do not represent a friend to young kids but more an aspirational older sister.
Dolls have an important role in helping children to learn social skills. A child can have tea parties with their dolls, or have magical adventures and even shout at them when they have done wrong. All of this teaches them social skills and coping mechanisms.
But children have a different relationship with Barbie. Barbies are not 3 years old. They are teenagers, they go to parties and have boyfriends. They are not your best friend at pre-school.
So we are very proud to offer a full range of dolls which encourage imaginative play for all children.
We have Rag Dolls in different skin tones, and even, shock horror, in trousers because thats what some children want. Our dolls are both boys and girls because the world of children includes boys and girls, and men and women.
And we also have crochet dolls in all sorts of shapes, sizes and genders. Because when you are playing with dolls you can go anywhere and be any thing
To see all our dolls please click here