Barbie’s New Look

Oxnard High School students and faculty discuss Mattel’s new change in Barbie dolls.

Sarah Anaya, Reporter

Barbie was introduced on March 9, 1959, in New York according to Barbie media. Barbie was designed for young girls to imagine what the future could hold. “My whole philosophy of Barbie was that, through the doll, the girl could be anything she wanted to be,” said Ruth Handler, creator of Barbie.

Though Barbie allowed young girls to believe and achieve their goals, it could also be harmful. Oxnard High School junior Genesis Alejo said, “With their dolls, they’re creating this aspect that a human has to be blonde, has to be tall, has to be skinny […] and a human isn’t like that.”

Now, a new line of Barbie Fashionista dolls has been announced for 2016. Twenty-three new dolls are to be released with different eye colors, hair styles, and body figures.

With Barbie’s original bleached blonde hair not changing, sales “have dipped four years in a row,” according to Fortune Magazine.

“I didn’t like how they [the Barbie dolls] didn’t look like anyone I knew,” said OHS freshman, Emily Herregon.

With Mattel’s premiere of the new dolls, the company had a slight increase in gross profit. According to the New York Times, “Net sales increased 0.3 percent to $2 billion in the quarter that ended Dec. 31.”

Over fifty years of seeing the original Barbie doll, society was ready for a change. OHS geography teacher, Ms. Tirza Estrada said, “I think social media has a lot to do with it. It is just so easy to put your image out there now [and…] people are communicating with each other at such a crazy rate.”

With Barbie’s image, some girls were able to look up to the role model. “They pictured exactly what I wanted to be” said OHS senior Megan Canales. “She was skinny, and she was tall, and she was pretty.”

Because Barbie’s perfect looks, according to society, also attacked the self-esteem of girls.  “It made me feel short, fat and ugly,” said Canales.

With this change “there is definitely going to be a lot of haters, but it is going to make a lot of people feel good about themselves and that’s the most important part. People are going to be happy and feel accepted,” said Canales.