Beauty

“She had to have her thighs touch”: Ashley Graham designs body positive Barbie doll

Posted by
Sarah Biddlecombe
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Ashley Graham has just achieved one of our biggest childhood fantasies: the model, body positivity champion and all-round feminist superhero has been immortalised forever as a Barbie doll.

Even better, the Ashley Graham Barbie isn’t just any kind of Barbie doll.

Rather than championing a genetically impossible body type, the Ashley doll embraces the curves that have made the model famous. The Barbie has a round belly and hips and absolutely no thigh gap – and it even almost had cellulite.

“She had to have her thighs touch,” Graham told The Hollywood Reporter about the process of having her Barbie designed. “No ands, ifs or buts about it.”

The 28-year-old, who is originally from Nebraska, also revealed that she asked Mattel, the company who make Barbie dolls, to give her doll cellulite. However, Mattel thought putting bumps on the plastic would look like a production fault, so they decided not to go ahead.



“I asked for cellulite but obviously plastic and cellulite don’t go hand in hand,” the model added.

Graham’s body positive Barbie doll is just the latest achievement in the model’s attempts to break down the stereotypes that reign supreme in the fashion and beauty industries.

As well as constantly responding to body shamers in the best possible way, the model has designed her own collection of plus-size lingerie and made history when she became the first size-16 woman to appear in Sports Illustrated (below).

Graham’s Barbie is part of the Sheroes collection of dolls designed to honour kickass women, such as Zendaya and Misty Copeland, in the fashion and entertainment industry.

While Mattel don’t currently plan to retail the doll alongside their current Barbie collection, which is gradually becoming more diverse, they might start selling it if it achieves enough attention.



And Graham would love for the doll to go on sale, if only to give young girls a more realistic idea of body shape.

“They’re seeing somebody who appreciates the things about their own bodies that haven’t been celebrated, like cellulite and back fat,” Graham told The Cut about the response she had received to her doll.

“These women never had a curvy role model growing up who not only looked like them but was also outspoken about what they go through.”

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