If Barbie Can Change, so Can We

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Published October 16, 2019
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The Montclarion
Danielle DeRosa | The Montclarion

Since Mattel’s release of the market breaking Barbie in 1959, views of what the perfect body and gender expression look like have changed immensely over the years.

From initially only being available as a male and female doll, Mattel has since revolutionized its market to a selection of diverse universal dolls for everyone to play with.

On Sept. 24, Mattel, who was founded in 1945, released a line of dolls called “Creatable World.” These dolls are limitless in the selection and are designed to keep labels out and welcome everyone in. The dolls can be made to be a boy, girl, both or neither.

People of all ages, including young audiences like children, should be able to express themselves how they wish to and be free to solely be themselves.

In redefining these old stereotypes and escaping unrealistic expectations, this new way of addressing a young demographic is a remarkable outreach to encourage and inspire children to express themselves how they wish.

With knowing young children within family and friends who do not conform to gender roles, the release of the “Creatable Word” line of dolls has touched my heart so greatly and has filled me with happiness, as I know it will bring them great joy.

Being that the dolls steer away from traditional male or female features, it is an incredibly important line especially when it is seen by young people.

The Mattel creator who led to the release and launch of the design, Kim Culcome, said the dolls are intended to be relatable, but not aspirational like Barbie was.

The “Creatable World” series of dolls allows children to break away from fixed views in society and have the freedom to create and customize their characters as much as they would like to.

Starting with a blank canvas, these dolls come along with a style kit. This allows children to dress their dolls however they please with many variations of colored hair, featuring both long or short and the option of dolls in different skin tones.

The kit also comes with over 100 looks and wardrobe options ranging from different shirts, glasses, long pants, skirts or even the freedom to layer both.

Mattel also released a significant slogan with the delivery of the line, stating: “Dolls are for kids not only for girls.”

The circling question of why, as a society, we should follow these gender-specific procedures is nonetheless outrageous and outdated. Mattel’s focus in allowing kids to simply be kids and dismay from labels is a beautiful approach, and I am proud that they are doing so.

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