“We are in a position of progress, not perfection right now.” – Kim Culmone, Head of Design, Barbie
Barbie has a new body… three of them, in fact. The Curvy, Petite, and Tall body types, which were revealed today in a TIME exclusive and described as “the most dramatic change in the iconic and controversial toy’s 57-year history,” are the result of Mattel’s Project Dawn, a two-year, secret undertaking to reinvent Barbie, “in the hopes of making her more relevant.”
Barbie General Manager Evelyn Mazzocco says the company’s decision to “go on this journey to really evolve the brand was inspired by many things,” including softness in sales, what they were hearing on social media about Barbie being “out of touch” with the world today, and, of course, feedback from parents who don’t view Barbie as a good role model for girls.
Taking that all into consideration, the Barbie design team was sent on an internal brainstorming mission and tasked with the following challenge: “If you could start the brand over today and you had no rules, and you could do whatever you wanted, what would you do to make her as relevant as possible?”
Working in secret for two years, the result is this Barbie body type evolution. It’s the latest phase in Mattel’s efforts, which include adding new skin colors, new hair colors and textures, as well as different ethnicities, to make its iconic doll better reflect our multicultural and diverse world.