Two huge Barbie-centric things happened this week. So yes, you could say it’s a Barbie world.
First, 19-year-old model Barbie Ferreira has been cast as the newest face of Aerie. Why is this a big deal, you ask? Because Ferreira has – wait for it – curves! I know, crazy, right? Ha. While it’s frightening that casting anything but a size 0 model is still news in this day and age, it really is a big step for a brand like Aerie.
The brand left behind photo retouching in 2014 for their #AerieREAL campaign, in an attempt to celebrate the details of women’s bodies that have long since been referred to as ‘imperfections.’ As awesome as that is, the ads still featured the more ‘typical’ magazine body type.
Now, Aerie is taking another step forward in changing the game by featuring Barbie, who is referred to in the industry as a “curve model.”
Take a look at this teaser video the brand released. You’ll notice that Ferreira’s body even moves – gasp! It’s so refreshing to see a girl that so many of us can relate to rocking her swimsuit with full confidence – exactly as she (and we all) should.
I did my usual Instagram stalking on her (@barbienox) and fell even more in love. Beyond being absolutely gorgeous, Barbie is cheeky and sarcastic and isn’t afraid of a bold fashion statement. Sound familiar? 😉
As for the second piece of Barbie news, the infamous Mattel doll has been released in three new body types: curvy, petite, and tall.
The toy manufacturer has been under fire for years and years over the classic doll’s unrealistic appearance: caucasian with bright blonde hair, huge boobs and a barely-there waist. Now, the doll will be available in different sizes in addition to the variety of skin tones and hair types that Mattel had already released.
Some people are upset because they think the curvy Barbie is still too small, but I think it’s important to recognize the most drastic change that the Mattel doll has undergone in over fifty years.
Is there still a long way to go in terms of representing different body types in the media and popular culture? Absolutely. But let’s praise the change we are finally seeing. This is only the beginning of great things to come. All we can hope for is that one day, our daughters and sons will laugh at the fact that this was ever even a conversation.
One small step for womankind, one giant leap for Barbie.