At Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit event in New York City Monday, curves model Ashley Graham not only made a big showing of herself, but unveiled a new version of Mattel’s legendary Barbie doll rendered in her full-figured, gorgeous image.
Clad in a sparkly dress and topped by Graham’s signature flowing brown locks, the new one-of-a-kind doll is about as realistic a take on the now-ubiquitous and much-loved model and body-positivity activist as one could hope for from its cat-eyed peepers to its total lack of thigh gap. The only drawback is that it’s not currently slated to be available for purchase.
And that’s exactly how Graham, who worked with Mattel on the doll, wanted it. As she told the Hollywood Reporter, “It was important that the Barbie resembled me as much as possible… The thighs touching was one way to show young girls that it’s okay for your thighs to touch, despite society saying that a ‘thigh gap’ is more beautiful.”
Lisa McKnight, general manager of Barbie, angled out the introduction of Graham’s doll, suggesting it’s another step in the transformation of a toy that has long been linked with body issues for young girls. “Ashley Graham is a trailblazer who inspires every woman – and girl – to see the beauty in herself,” said McKnight. “This year Barbie has evolved to be more inclusive by adding three new body shapes into the line and we hope our relationship with Ashley will further make an impact.” Indeed, the brand has made some measurable progress in 2016, offering more skin tones and creating dolls based on Zendaya, Beyoncé, and director Ava DuVernay. Let’s hope they keep it up.
Oh, also, let’s hope that Mattel gets around to making a plastic version of fellow curves model and activist Barbie Ferreira. A Barbie Barbie!