Nearly a year after Mattel released the curvy, tall, and petite Barbies, they have finally created one with touching thighs. Now, all in all, I find the whole “thigh gap” debate to be kind of ridiculous, but the fact that it even is a debate means that we need to confront this as a society. Even the “curvy” Barbies have a thigh gap – I don’t know how, but this is clearly still some kind of taboo. Ashley Graham insisted that her Barbie have touching thighs: “Guys, we can make this Barbie, but if her thighs don’t touch, she’s not authentic.”
The doll even has Graham’s fuller eyebrows and “round butt, round hips, and round stomach,” not to mention legs that actually work. Graham even requested cellulite, but apparently that’s not feasible with plastic (although I’m not exactly sure why). She’s also shared that the doll couldn’t have come at a better time: “One election shouldn’t make you feel that you can’t be who you want to be. This is the time for us to band and stand together to make change and continue to be role models for one another.”
Body image is of course just one of the many identities that have been threatened since last week’s election. White people revealed their not so “hidden” racism, and Trump has already given government jobs to actively homophobic and white supremicist people. But Graham is right – this Barbie can actually make a huge difference for some people: “I never really thought that I didn’t look like [Barbie] growing up, I just thought she was perfect. If I had a Barbie that was my size, i would have thought my size was normal.”
Now Mattel just has to release the Ashley Graham Barbie to stores so that kids can actually play with it.