#ICYMI Day 14: Curvy Barbie


The holiday season is here, a time for reflection and excitement for the year ahead. To help you take stock, reminisce about the good times, and get excited for 2017, for the entire month of December your WGSN global editors are cutting through the noise to deliver you, our “WGSN #ICYMI” rundown.

It’s a rundown of the coolest moments of the year, the most innovative ad campaigns, plus super cool products that may have flown under your radar this busy year.



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WGSN Staffer: Emily Spiegel, Head of Content and Product Marketing







I was a Barbie girl. Well actually, a Barbie addict. When I was 7, I had Hair Salon Barbie. Ballerina Barbie. Every Barbie x Disney Princess. A Barbie Dreamhouse. A Barbie Car. Barbie the Princess Game. Barbie the Makeover Game.

What was it about Barbie? I don’t know if it was the fantasy of her life. That every outfit always looked flawless. That she was always camera ready. Or how far she was from my reality.

I mean let’s be honest, Barbie is pretty far from everyone’s reality. She never gets food in her teeth. Every outfit always fits. And B never – ever -has a bad hair day.

Not to mention that, as is well documented and repeated, her body proportions are physically impossible. And so, after increasingly losing market share and clout amongst Millennial parents – who wanted dolls that re-enforced body positivity – it was time for Mattel to make a change.

In January, they stunned the world, and landed the cover of Time by introducing three new body types – petite, tall and curvy – to their Fashionista line. More recently, they’ve expanded their Sheroes line to include Ashley Graham. The plus-sized model who has dominated magazine covers this year (most noticeably of Sports Illustrated and British Vogue).


The shocker with the introduction of these new Barbie types was that – according to the researchers at Mattel – girls as young as 5 were participating in body-shaming while playing with the new Barbie types (undressing curvy Barbie, for instance, and laughing at her stomach).
Which means two things for me. Firstly, while Mattel’s Fashionista line was a giant step for Mattel, we still have miles to go in our quest to help young girls develop healthy relationships with different body types. And secondly, we should continue to celebrate women – who like Ashley Graham – exemplify what it is to be a “beauty, a brand, and a businesswoman.” Now that’s the kind of B I can get behind.

Look out for our full #ICYMI calendar coming up everyday on WGSN Insider, this month. Check out day 13, celebrating the magic that David Bowie left us, here

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