The update is a long-awaited response to criticisms from moms who want their daughters to have more realistic toy options. Barbie has long been a leader in women's empowerment, and this move marks a shift from the blonde and skinny sexy ideal to an all women are sexy and strong ideal. For several years this shift has been taking place in the fashion industry, where plus size and real women models are gaining exposure. All this should be good for boys as they begin to see women in a realistic way.
While Barbie sales are in the $300 million per quarter range there has been a noticeable drop in sales over the past 4 years. New body shapes will help with problem as people rush to buy "their" Barbie--and the clothes she needs. The new types are not designed to have interchangeable outfits.
- My favorite real life Barbie, Reese Witherspoon, and her female-positive film production group, Pacific Standard, signed up in 2015 to produce a biopic of Ruth Handler, Barbie's mother. The group owns the film rights to Robin Gerber's Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her.
- Another film is being discussed as a collaboration between Sony and Mattel that will bring Barbie herself to live action movie theaters featuring comedian Amy Schumer.