Mattel is about to release a range of Barbie dolls that reflect the world’s opinions on the female form. And let’s face it, much has been said about Barbie’s figure.

Barbie first appeared an astonishingly 57 years old as a narrow-waisted blue-eyed doll. And although she has undergone changes over the years her thin, waif-like shape has copped a great deal of criticism.

She is probably talked more about than any other female character. Her recent appearance on the cover of Time magazine says it all - "Now can we stop talking about my body?"

Perhaps not!

Carrie Fisher, Hollywood superstar, is noted for her outspoken comments about body image after she was criticised for gaining weight and ageing naturally.

Just like ordinary women the new Barbie has a bigger bust, rounder bottom, thicker thighs and a protruding tummy.

Mattel is offering three styles so girls can choose the one that they can relate to the most.

There is a petite doll, tall doll and a curvy doll.

Mattel’s Evelyn Mazzocco, senior vice president and global general manager of the Barbie brand, stated, "We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand. 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. We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty," she said.

Mattel are hoping that the dolls’ body shapes are more genuine and reflect more realistic images of women.

As well, with seven skin tones, 22 eye colours, 24 hairstyles and new clothes and accessories, Mattel is hoping to appeal to a broader audience and lift Barbie sales which have been flagging for the past two years.

Kids Health reports that body image and self-esteem go hand in hand. They explain that girls’ confidence and ability to fit in is influenced by images they see around them. We are constantly comparing and judging ourselves and this has a negative effect on what we think we can achieve in life.

This can lead to depression and other mental disorders that even Hollywood and Pop stars suffer from.

Barbie used to represent everything that was unrealistic about the female body. Let’s hope this new line offers more a more positive ideal for young girls than the previous ones.

The new Barbie is available for order on website shop.mattel.com starting Thursday and will reach stores later.

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