Say hello to the new Hijarbie
A Nigerian woman, who wanted to see Barbie dressed the way she did, has introduced Barbie's latest avatar, in a fully covered 'Hijab'. The Hijarbie, created by Haneefah Adam will be initially available in the US and will be sold in the UK from mid March for £9.99 each. She said she was "inspired by the normal every day look of the hijabi girl."
Barbie was a fashion doll built by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc. and made its first appearance in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is attributed as Barbie's creator. According to Handler, she drew Barbie's inspiration from a German doll called Bild Lilli. From its very launch, the Barbie doll became a fashion icon and a favourite amongst girls' toys.
Mattel claims that it has sold as many as 1 billion Barbie dolls worldwide across 150 countries and that three Barbie dolls are sold every second.
Barbie boasted a vital statistics which were estimated at "36 inches (chest), 18 inches (waist) and 33 inches (hips)." Critics all around the world came hard on Mattel saying that the Barbie promoted an unrealistic idea of body image for young girls who would fall prey to anorexia and bulimia. Moreover, experts said Barbie was 35 lbs. underweight for a woman her height.
Barbie met with more criticism as the back cover of its vintage booklet on "How to Lose Weight", stated- "Don't Eat!". In another instance, critics pointed out that the bathroom scales from the 1965 Barbie sets were permanently set at 110 lbs (extremely underweight).
In 1997, Barbie went through major reshaping with Mattel announcing that the "Barbie will be redesigned to better reflect today's society." With the makeover, the Barbie was expected to get slimmer hips, a wider waist and a smaller bust. The new Barbie came to be called "Really Rad Barbie." Mattel said the current shape would complement the changing fashion trends and body expectations.
California-based toy maker Mattel released the new models of the beloved Barbie which it says better reflect a changing world. The new barbie has been introduced in 3 variants: petite, tall and curvy. Furthermore, the new dolls have "seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles". Mattel's senior Vice President said that they had a responsibility to "reflect a broader view of beauty".
Barbie has found herself in the middle of a social media storm with people hitting back saying that the new decision was not a "revolutionary leap forward" as it seems and that the new labels were 'problematic'. Twitter saw numerous people attacking Mattel for forcing 'adult hang-ups' on children. Many said that there was no reason for Barbie to be 'politically correct'.