Barbie’s unrealistic proportions have stirred up controversy for decades.
Critics of the doll say that her tiny torso and long limbs give young girls false expectations for what womens’ bodies should look like.
But in a recent interview with Fast Company, Barbie lead designer Kim Culmone says there’s a good reason the toy’s shape is so disproportionate.
“Barbie’s body was never designed to be realistic. She was designed for girls to easily dress and undress. And she’s had many bodies over the years, ones that are poseable, ones that are cut for princess cuts, ones that are more realistic,” Culmone said.
Culmone also suggested that Barbie’s critics were overreacting, and that the doll doesn’t negatively impact young customers.
“To little girls, they are putting themselves in that doll anyway. You have to remember that girls’ perceptions are so different than grown ups’ perceptions about what real is and what real isn’t, and what the influences are,” she said.
Culmone said she sees no reason to alter Barbie’s proportions at this time.
Mattel announced last week that Barbie sales have plunged 13%.
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