Ashley Graham’s influential presence has taken over the modeling industry. Not only does she inspire individuals of all ages throughout the world, but she has also set a new standard for beauty. She advocates the idea of “beauty beyond size” and not letting others dictate what they think your body should look like. Through her campaigns, photoshoots and fashion lines, she teaches that everyone should love their body, regardless of size or shape. She is one of few models who promotes self-love in people who struggle with body confidence. Her courage of fighting against haters has spread a powerful message about taking down unrealistic beauty standards, ultimately instigating a much-needed change in the modeling industry.
In February, she became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition, and her escalating success has even landed her a role in DNCE’s music video, “Toothbrush.” These feats highlight how anyone can achieve anything they put their mind to.
Her latest achievement is one of her most major ones yet: she’s created a new Barbie, one that’s plus size and has matching measurements.
As a child, playing with Barbies was one of my favorite activities. Dressing these smooth-skinned, blonde-haired and tiny-waisted dolls was a go-to toy for me and the masses of adolescent children everywhere. However, as a child, you don’t think much about the flaws of a Barbie doll, because it’s what every young girl regards as “perfect.” Thus, critics have long-regarded Barbie as a toy that sets unrealistic beauty standards, indirectly harming the development of ideals in young girls all over the world.
Essentially, the traditional barbie doll lacks diversity both in race and body shape. Even though Mattel attempted to increase their designs and types of dolls, the main representation of the company remains as the iconic blonde, Caucasian Barbie. Thankfully, Graham’s release of her new doll is something refreshing that counters the stereotypes of Barbie.
Compared to the traditional Barbie, Graham’s doll is complete with fuller hips and thicker thighs. While some people might be concerned about minding the gap, Graham insisted on keeping it real when it comes to her doll’s appearance. She even wanted to the doll to have cellulite, but that was difficult to manufacture with plastic material, so it didn’t end up in the final product. However, the point is that she wanted to create a doll that resembled her as much as possible.
Aspects, such as the lack of the thigh gap on Graham’s doll, promote her belief that it’s OK for thighs to touch, no matter whether or not society deems them beautiful. This Barbie doll is sure to change the Mattel company’s image for the better, and young girls around the world can now look to a more realistic beauty standard, thanks to Ashley Graham. I can’t wait to see this Barbie in stores everywhere really soon!