Barbie is 60-years-old on Saturday, and in a marketing homage to International Women’s Day, manufacturer Mattel has released modern-day role model dolls.
The gender-marketing researcher said the Barbie version of influential artist Frida Khalo confirmed Barbie still replicated a range of unrealistic beauty ideals and standards.
Khalo’s Barbie has bushy eyebrows, but the artist’s signature uni-brow has been erased from the doll’s highly symmetrical face.
“The narrative of their careers is relegated to the [toy] box and what you’re left with is the physical Barbie, the material object,” she said.
“How she looks is the focus.”
After a 20 per cent drop in sales between 2012 and 2014, Mattel introduced new skin tones and hair texture. In 2016 and 2017, the curvier red-headed doll was the toy company’s best seller.
“This is a well-timed corporate decision that goes back to commodity feminism and turning feminism into a product,” Dr Gurrieri said.