With her blonde hair, blue eyes and out of this world body proportions, Barbie has long been criticised for reinforcing unattainable standards of beauty, but it appears creator Mattel is now planning to revolutionise things.
While she’s turned her static hand to everything from teaching and medicine to yoga and ski instructing, there’s one thing Barbie has never never quite managed to be; a reflection of real life diversity.
In order to make amends however, toy company Mattel (which first created the iconic doll some 56 years ago) has launched a new range of Barbie dolls called the Fashionistas, which it's hoped will better reflect women and more diverse ideas of beauty.
It’s reported there’ll be 23 new dolls in total, all of different body shapes and heights, along with 14 different face shapes, 18 variations of eye colour, 23 hair shades and eight different skin tones.
With the new range, which has already been launched in the States, Barbie will also be able to step out of heels for the first time since 1959.
Until now Barbie has been limited to (an albeit quite desirable) selection of heels, heels and more heels but, as part of the Fashionista modifications, she can finally now slip into a pair of flats.
Thanks to a little plastic surgery (literally) Barbie’s previously fixed ankle has been swapped with an articulated foot, meaning she can flex and run around town in flat shoes like a real woman.
The previous angle of her ankle meant that only killer heels (and of course ill-fitting snow boots) worked on the doll.
To celebrate, British shoe designer and Stylist favourite Sophia Webster has reimagined her favourite signature shoes styles, with a Barbie-appropriate twist.
There’ll be flats, trainers and heels in the new Barbie shoe collection, which is also being made into a brilliant range of nine styles for us humans to wear too.
The range of Sophia Webster for Barbie shoes will hit Selfridges nationwide and sophiawebster.com this week, in both adult and children’s sizes.
Talking about finally landing her dream gig, designer Sophia Webster says: “Creating a shoe collection for Barbie has always been my dream project, but getting to be a part of her embracing flats for the first time made it extra exciting, and deeply personal.”
“The idea of getting Barbie in some hi-tops and setting her loose in East London instantly appealed.”
Take a look at a few of the Sophia Webster for Barbie highlights below...
Images: Barbie.com / Sophia Webster