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Broad Ken: A Review

Last year Matter released a new line of Barbies with different body types. I’ve written reviews for Tall and Curvy. Petite will come shortly (pun not intended but appreciated).
Just in time for the holiday season of 2017, Mattel released new body types, skin tones and hair styles for Ken. There’s the Original, Slim and the one in this review, Broad.

Continue reading “Broad Ken: A Review”

Broad Ken: A Review

Tall Barbie: A Review 

Previously I had reviewed Curvy Barbie. Today I review Tall Barbie.

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Barbie Fashionistas, Fab Fringe (image is of a Brown skinned doll, she is black long sleeve top with floral print on, she’s wearing blue shorts and black booties. Her hair is red and in a curly Afro.

Original Barbie is 11.5 inches tall. This Barbie is about 13 inches tall. One of the reasons I wanted to buy this doll was because unlike most Barbies, she has short hair. Plus, she’s sporting a curly Afro!

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In addition to the new body types, Mattel has also added new face sculpts. This doll has a wide nose and full lips. Her eyes are light brown and she has a medium skin tone.

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Tall Barbie comes accessorized with black Booties and a white wrist watch

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Mattel will be releasing other tall (and curvy) dolls with fashions but for now, these dolls have to make do with the outfits they’re wearing. Tall Barbie does fit into Original Barbie’s clothes but since she is a few inches taller, the clothes are a bit shorter.
Original Barbie can fit into Tall Barbie’s clothes but as you can see above Original Barbie has a thinner waist so Tall Barbie’s shorts a bit big around that area on the Original.
Tall Barbie also has wider flatter feet but she is able to wear Original heels, however because her feet are flatter she isn’t able to stand upright with them on.

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Tall Barbie wearing Original Barbie heels. Because her feet are flatter, she ends up leaning forward when wearing these.
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Swapped outfits

Like most Barbies, Tall Barbie is not articulated.

Just like Curvy Barbie, Tall Barbie has been a big hit here at home. TJ and I are both tall and we both have curly hair. TJ is thrilled to see a doll with features closer to hers. My daughter has named her Savannah.

 

 

Tall Barbie: A Review 

Curvy Barbie: A Review

In a previous post I talked about Barbie and representation and Mattel’s new line of dolls. In this post I’m reviewing one of the curvy dolls.

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Barbie Fashionistas, Dolled Up in Denim
(image is of a brown-skinned doll, she has long brown hair, she’s wearing a blue denim dress with a white lace blouse over it. her shoes and necklace are both red, she is curvier than the original Barbie)

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Upon first seeing her I noticed she seemed thicker than in the pictures I’d seen online.
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(four images of the same brown-skinned doll, the images show different close up shots of her body)
Her thighs almost touch and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. A doll with thunder thighs! Her body is thicker than the Original Barbie and she definitely is hourglass shaped.

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Her face mold is beautiful. Her eyes are soft brown, her nose is small, her lips are full. Her hair is brown with golden blonde streaks. The lacy white top is removable!
The white top has Velcro in the back to take it on or off. The dress has stretchy straps and it can slipped on and off.

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Like most Barbie dolls, her joints are not articulated.

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Left to right: Curvy, Tall and Original

This doll is for my daughter. I asked her what she thought of her. TJ says the new doll is very pretty and that sheʹs glad they’re making different shaped dolls. She told me she noticed the doll is bigger than her other Barbies. So, we talked about fat acceptance and why I don’t view the word fat as pejorative.
TJ has named the new doll Serena and is already introducing them to her other dolls. Curvy Barbie has been a hit here.

Like I mentioned before I noticed the doll was thicker in person than online. This was something another friend who bought Curvy Barbie had mentioned to me.
I think she could be fatter, how great would it be to have a fat Barbie with a big belly? One who isn’t an hourglass shape? But this is definitely a start.

Curvy Barbie: A Review

Barbie and Representation

Mattel recently revealed what they’re calling “The Evolution of Barbie”. It includes three new body types (along with new hair and eye colors, and funky new hairstyles) that will sell alongside the original doll. These body types are curvy, petite, and tall.

I love Barbie. I had about 30 of them when I was little. Most of them were the white, blue-eyed, blonde Barbie. I had a few brunettes, one Teresa (she was the Hispanic Barbie), and the Puerto Rican Barbie which was part of the Dolls of the World collection.

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(image is of two dolls. Both dolls are brunettes. The doll on the left is the Happy Birthday Barbie doll. She is wearing a pink and white ball gown with balloons and ribbons print. She has a party hat on her head. The doll on the right is wearing a pink and white dress. She has a pink flower in her hair. She is the Puerto Rican doll.)

When I was little, I hated my big nose and my huge curly hair. White skin was prized and I was always told it was a good thing I wasn’t darker. It wasn’t until recently that I started appreciating my natural hair. My mother was constantly buying hair straightening cream “para matar el rizo” (kill the curl).
I always liked the brunette and darker skin dolls best but I was always given white Barbie. So I would take my mother’s brown eye shadows, crush it and mix it with water and dunk my blonde Barbies hair in. It lasted until I decided to wash my dolls.

I got the message that my natural hair wasn’t beautiful. I was always told I was too fat. I would hear people say girls looked like a Barbie if they were thin, white and pretty. I would never be a Barbie. But I could pretend. My Barbies had fantastic adventures. They were singers, cops, teachers, spies, feminist bad asses who didn’t need Ken. Although that was mostly because I only had one Ken. So that Ken played different characters, while my Barbies had different names and personalities, I still remember most of their names.

My Barbies provided me an escape from my unhappy childhood.

It’s a little tough being a feminist and a huge Barbie fan. For a while I thought I was a bad feminist for loving Barbie. I didn’t realize I could appreciate Barbie but also critique her shortcomings. I was also hesitant to apply any critical thought to Barbie because I was worried it would tarnish my childhood memories of her.

Once I had a daughter, I realized I needed to look at Barbie (and all other media directed towards her) critically. My daughter doesn’t look like Barbie, and she never will. That is ok. That’s what I need to hear when I was little. Barbie was an unrealistic standard. I didn’t need to look like her to have worth and be loved.
Barbie didn’t make me have self-esteem issues. It was the adults around me with fat-phobia, anti-blackness and colorism who caused my self-esteem problems.
My daughter knows that her curls are beautiful. That her light skin doesn’t make her any better than someone darker.

Barbie has been pretty good in showing racial diversity. I always could say Teresa was “for me” but never “she looks like me” because Teresa was thin.

Having a fashion doll who’s curvy is a huge deal. Not only will chubby girls finally see themselves in a doll, but they’re also getting the message that they too can be fashion forward and fun.

Curvy Barbie is not without her problems. She could be bigger. Her figure is the “acceptable fat”; an hourglass shape. That’s a problem plus-size modeling and the body positivity movement have as well. But, I’m glad that Curvy Barbie is here. It’s a step in the right direction. Curvy Barbie is the doll I wished would have existed when I was little. Needless to say, my inner child is excited for this.

I’ve posted a review of Curvy and Tall Barbie! Click on links to read them!

Barbie and Representation