Most Diverse and Inclusive Doll Line
Call For Change
2020 was a big year for Barbie. Mattel, the company that owns Barbie, generated nearly 1.5 billion dollars in revenue from the iconic doll. But just five years ago, Barbie was a brand in crisis. Sales were in a freefall: between 2011 and 2015, Barbie sales dropped by a third. Kelly Gilblom, an entertainment reporter at Bloomberg News, says part of the problem was that the doll hadn’t really evolved since it was first launched in the late 1950s.
It was still a blonde doll modeling the white ideal of beauty, and that was becoming increasingly a problem for Mattel. None of the little girls seem to think Barbie was aspirational, despite all her many careers. Mattel decided it was time for Barbie to get a makeover. In 2015, they launched Barbie Fashionista dolls, a line of two dozen dolls with eight different skin tones and some curly hair options.
"Seeing a Barbie doll that looked like you wasn’t possible for children who didn’t have Barbie’s iconic blonde hair and blue eyes. But all of that has changed now"
Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls, Mattel, says, “Barbie wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation, and as the most diverse doll line on the market, we are committed to continuing to introduce dolls featuring a range of skin tones, body types and disabilities to reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them.”
“It’s important for kids to see themselves reflected in product and to encourage play with dolls that don’t resemble them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion.”