The Beauty of Diversity

Johannesburg, 27 February 2018 – With International Women’s Day approaching on 8 March, it is crucial that we help our children recognise a broader view of beauty, one that incorporates the diversity that surrounds us – and the Barbie Fashionista range is doing just that!

In 2017, this remarkable range won the coveted Toy of the Year award, in the Doll category, for its bold introduction of diversity, literally changing the face of the stereotypical Barbie brand by introducing new dolls with new body shapes, new face shapes, new skin tones, and new hairstyles.


The importance of exposing our children to diversity and providing them with imaginative toys that allow them to see themselves in their imaginary play cannot be overstated.


The Barbie Fashionista range has its roots in 2015, which saw the launch of a brand new Barbie crew featuring 23 dolls with a range of skin tones, facial structures and hair colours. The popularity of the new line saw the official launch of the Fashionista label in 2016, with the introduction of three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – seven skin tones, 14 facial structures, 22 eye colours and 24 hairstyles. Plus, of course, countless new on-trend fashions and accessories to suit each individual doll, from casually cool and boho bold, to elegant evening wear and pretty much everything in between!

Today, the Fashionista range features over 100 dolls of diverse appearance, and it continues to grow.


The 2018 range will bring with it even more variety, introducing another four body types, nine skin tones, 13 face-sculpts, nine eye colours, 11 hair colours and 13 hairstyles.


The choice, as children have come to expect from the Barbie brand, is limitless.


“Barbie has always given girls choices – from her 180 careers, to inspirational roles, to her countless fashions and accessories,” says Andrea Ziella, Head of Marketing and Trade Marketing, Mattel SA. “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.”


Barbie fans can now choose their Barbie to look just like them, or create a group of friends to mimic their own friendship circles.


By allowing our children to choose a Barbie in their own image, or in the image of their best friend, or favourite actress, singer, movie star, or sporting hero, we are encouraging them to see the beauty that not only lies in their own shape, colour and style, but also in the various shapes, colours and styles that surround them.


We live in an increasingly diverse world, it is not only natural, but crucial, that our children’s imaginary worlds represent this diversity.


It is perhaps no coincidence that the Barbie brand celebrates its 59th anniversary the day after International Women’s Day. In 2018, as we celebrate women from all walks of life, all shapes, all sizes, all colours, and all creeds, it seems only fitting that Barbie celebrates the continued success, and evolution, of the Fashionista range.

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