Are New Barbie Body Types Just A Ploy To Save The Brand?

The new Barbie body types are already causing quite the controversy. While some Barbie fans are thrilled by the new Barbie images, others are questioning Mattel's motives in unveiling the curvier Barbie dolls.

According to the New York Times, Mattel unveiled three new body types for Barbie dolls on Thursday morning. The three new Barbie body types include petite, tall, and curvy. For a brand that's always been a one-size-fits-all, and a far cry from an accurate representation of the average female body, for some Barbie fans this is a welcome change.

3 new Barbie body types.
3 new Barbie body types.

"Girls everywhere now have infinitely more ways to play out their stories and spark their imaginations through Barbie," the toy brand said on the Barbie website. This also gave rise to the trending hashtag #TheDollEvolves.

According to Today, the new Barbie body types aren't the only change to make the legendary doll more modern. The popular doll is now available with seven different skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 24 unique hair styles.

Spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni talked about the changes to Barbie.

"These new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them — the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them."
Time Magazine covered the Barbie transformation story in-depth with a telling cover that has Barbie on the front with the question, "Now can we stop talking about my body?"

But it seems that no one could stop talking about Barbie's new body, as fans took to Twitter to express their approval.

Meanwhile, not everyone was so approving of the new Barbie body types. Some consumers were disapproving, touting the argument that the new body types promote obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. The backlash was to be expected, especially in a society that's becoming increasingly torn between body shamers and those who are in the positive body image corner.Still others, who didn't necessarily care about the body types one way or the other, questioned Mattel's motives in unveiling the new Barbies. An opinion piece at The Guardian suggested that the new body types were a ploy to try and boost sales in a company that's failing.

Erika Nicole Kendall, author of the article, simply states, "The millennial mom is also, by and large, likely to be skeptical of a move like this, and with good reason. Let's call this what it is: a last-ditch effort by a company that recognizes the only way to stay alive and ultimately thrive is to – gasp – diversify."

She insinuates that Mattel is banking on appealing to millennials, as well as people's sense of nostalgia and she has a point. From 2012 to 2014, Barbie sales have dropped more than 20 percent and Mattel has lost over $500 million, due to losing their rights to continue producing the Disney Princess brand.

What do you think: Are the new Barbie body types a step in the right direction or simply a move to save Mattel after their sales have dropped 20 percent in recent years?

Mattel is transforming the Barbie doll.
Mattel is transforming the Barbie doll.

[Photo credit: Mattel & Getty Images]