What Little Girls Are Saying About the New Barbie

February 1st 2016

People are celebrating Mattel's plan to roll out three new Barbie body types, including a curvy one, and so far, many girls seem to love the change.

Following the news of the additions, Glamour filmed several young girls reacting to the new Barbies. The clip opens with the girls holding Barbies with blonde hair before seeing a photo of the new Barbies. The reactions were mostly positive, with one child saying that the beauty mark on the new doll "makes a big difference" and will help other kids with beauty marks feel less self-conscious if they're bullied over having them.

Another pair of girls liked that the new doll is more "realistic" and wears less makeup:

Several others took to social media to say their daughters were excited about the new Barbies:

New Barbie reactionMic Facebook - facebook.com

But not all little girls were so enthusiastic about the shift.

In Eliana Dockterman's TIME magazine cover story about the dolls, Dockterman wrote that she watched unattended little girls playing with the dolls ("presumably through some kind of two-way mirror," Slate's Christina Cauterucci noted) and observed the kids mock the toys.

One little girl played with the curvy doll and said, "Hello, I’m a fat person, fat, fat, fat." When an adult came by though, the girl said the doll was just "a little chubbier." A separate child didn't want to be mean to Barbie, so she merely spelled out the word "fat" to describe her.

"These are kids who are barely out of kindergarten, and they already know that the thicker Barbie is the odd one out," Cauterucci wrote of Dockterman's experiment.

A Mattel research head told Dockterman that when adults weren’t present, the focus group girls frequently took off the dolls' clothes and made fun of them.

Dockterman added in a summary of her cover story that little girls preferred the dolls that more closely matched their skin color and hair texture. Blonde Barbies, however, were popular across the board:

"[T]he blonde, straight-haired dolls still proved popular for girls of all backgrounds. When the kids were asked, 'Which doll is Barbie?' they invariably pointed to a blonde."

Mattel said last week that the new dolls were part of an effort to provide more inclusive products, as the brand worried that the skinny blonde version of Barbie would be "out of touch" with today's children.

"We were seeing that Millennials are driven by social justice and attracted to brands with purpose and values, and they didn’t see Barbie in this category," Tania Missad, Mattel’s director of global brand insights, told the Telegraph.

RELATED: Barbie Just Got a Big Makeover

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