First Look At Barbie’s New Body Shapes

New Barbie shapes 2016

A few weeks ago, social media was ablaze at the news that Mattel planned to launch three new body types with its Barbie doll. As a mum who is desperately keen to bring up my daughter to know that ‘tall, slim with perky boobs’ isn’t the only body shape which will make you happy, the announcement made me cockahoop with joy.

So what are the dolls actually like? I’ve got my hands on four of the new dolls from the Fashionistas range and this is what they look like…

New Barbie shape - curvy, tall, petite

From left to right, we’ve got Doll 25 (Blue Brocade) which is the petite shape, Doll 22 (Chambray Chic) which is the curvy shape, Doll 24 (Crazy For Coral) which is the petite shape and Doll 30 (White and Pink Pizzazz) which is the tall shape.

Is it weird that the first thing I did was look under their clothes at their bodies?

Let’s cut to the chase – here’s what the dolls look like without their clothes on. Granted, I felt a bit odd taking photographs of naked dolls, but this is actually the state that most of my five-year-old’s dolls are in for most of the time, anyway.

New Barbie body shapes 2016

So the obvious differences are the skin tones, the hair colour, the dolls’ height and how curvy or straight they are. Doll 25 (far left) and Doll 24 (second from right) are both the ‘petite’ shape – smaller in height, smaller boobs than Original Barbie, slightly wider waist, hips and legs. Doll 22 (second from left) is the ‘curvy’ shape – she has smaller boobs than Original Barbie, wider waist hips and legs, and a larger bottom. Her face is also rounder and she has feet shaped for flat shoes rather than towering heels. Doll 30 (far right) is the ‘tall’ shape – yes you guessed it, she’s taller than the others and has a straighter body shape with fewer curves than the other Barbies.

Here’s what they look like next to Original Barbie (she’s the one in the middle… as if I need to tell you that).

New Barbie body shapes 2016

None of the new shapes have the massive thigh gap that Original Barbie has and they all have less make up on too, which is a bonus, if you ask me. 

I’m a huge fan of these dolls. If I’m being picky, I’d like it if the ‘Curvy’ doll was named something else – because she’s not actually that curvy, is she? And in the Fashionistas line, which these dolls are part of, I’d like to see fewer dolls wearing skirts and more wearing the kind of clothes our kids wear. Where are the dungarees and trainers? Leggings and t-shirts?

But overall, I love these dolls. Anything which helps to reaffirm the idea that we all come in different shapes and sizes – and that’s OK – is great with me. All of the kids in my five-year-old’s school class are different, so it makes total sense for her dolls to reflect that.

So what did she make of these new Barbie dolls?

New Barbie dolls 2016

She loved them too. She couldn’t get the dolls out of the boxes quick enough, and spent ages taking off – and putting back on – their shoes. She immediately gave them names (Emine, Lucy, Lale and Daisy) and when I asked her if these dolls look any different to other dolls, she replied no. Just to be sure, I then asked if they looked like normal dolls to her, and she said yes. Which probably says a lot about her age – she hasn’t yet started to look much at body shapes or think about them a lot.

But the thing about toys and dolls that a lot of people overlook is the subconscious effect they have on children. She might not be consciously thinking about body shapes and skin tones, but I believe that the toys she plays with – whether it’s dolls or building bricks or robots or engineering sets – are shaping the person she is, and the adult she will become.

So, in summary: the five-year-old is just happy to have four new dolls to play with, while I’m happy that she has more realistic dolls to play with. I call that a win/win situation.

These new doll shapes will be available to buy in the UK for £9.99 each on Amazon from 23rd February, with more to follow later in the year but you can take a look at the whole range now on the US site, where they’re available already. Mattel sent us these four dolls but as always, all words and views are mine.




  1. February 21, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    These are a massive improvement and I am so happy to see the change, it was much needed!

  2. February 21, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    What a massive improvement! Not sure about what their arms are doing but can’t be too picky I suppose!

  3. February 21, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    I agree less makeup and more natural beauty is better for our children to see. As a child I never liked Barbie as she seemed so unlike everything I knew – I played with Sindy instead which had a more natural shape but I’m sure as my daughter gets older if Mattel continue to produce a variety of dolls like these they will be a favourite not only to her but for me as her mum 🙂

  4. February 22, 2016 / 7:38 am

    I can’t believe this has actually happened! What a huge step forward.

  5. February 22, 2016 / 12:27 pm

    LOVE THESE! And can’t wait to my girl to get her hands on them when she gets home from school! The clothes are a little odd and not really what kids where but you gotta start somewhere! x

  6. February 22, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    Ah they look great. I’ll have to grab these for little Isla! 🙂

  7. February 23, 2016 / 11:23 am

    Love the idea of new Barbie shapes but to be honest I always preferred Sindy. The original Sindy was ‘more real looking’ she had curves and I think set a much better example to me as a child. Miss M hasn’t started playing with Barbies yet- but I will be sure to push her in the direction of more realistc shapes.

  8. February 23, 2016 / 11:33 am

    My girls love Barbie and I’ve tried not to worry about it too much. These dolls look much more realistic but I would be interested to see what the packaging looks like. I don’t think they should actually make a point of advertising them as curvy, tall, petite etc. They should just all be Barbie fashion dolls available in a variety of shapes, sizes, skin colour and clothes. Maybe thats just me!

  9. Maria
    June 17, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    Great blog. I’m a collector and found this page looking for body comparisons for clothing. I really enjoyed your thoughts on the impact toys have on children and agree wholeheartedly 🙂

  10. January 10, 2020 / 9:12 pm

    This post makes me wonder if Barbie movies or better yet the new streaming seasons on Netflix, “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures,” follows through on some of the same concerns you mentioned in this post about Barbie shapes. I’m no Barbie expert but I would hope that what the kids are watching matches up with the new doll designs.

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