For years, feminists criticized the Barbie doll for presenting an unrealistic, unattainable body image for young girls.
Her height, weight, bust size and hips were so “anatomically impossible,” a 2013 New York Daily News article said, a real-life Barbie “would be reduced to walking on all fours and incapable of lifting anything.”
Psychological studies show the doll’s image can create real harm in young girls, leading in some cases to eating disorders.
The message many received was, if you want to be happy, or popular, or successful in life, this is what you should look like. Mattel implicitly acknowledged this reality a few years back, when it introduced new dolls with more varied, realistic figures.