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Meet the Most Diverse Barbie Dolls Ever Made

Barbie has evolved over the last six decades from a blonde bombshell to a line of dolls that celebrates diversity and inclusion. You've come a long way Barbie, and we like the direction you are headed.

diverse barbie dolls 2020Courtesy Mattel

A new decade for Barbie

When Barbara Millicent Roberts (aka Barbie) made her debut on March 9, 1959, the blonde bombshell revolutionized the doll word with glamour and style. Throughout her six decades on the global stage, she has evolved to be more than just a fashion model. (Big applause!) Over the past five years, Barbie has introduced more than 170+ new looks, including body diversity, dolls reflecting permanent disabilities, more skin tones, and hair colors and textures. Barbie’s newest line, the Fashionistas, swings open the door to diversity and inclusion to honor our differences in style. See what Barbie looked like the decade you were born.

barbie skin condition fashionista vitilagoCourtesy Mattel

Barbie has a skin condition

Mattel hopes that by offering a doll with vitiligo, a skin disease where people lose pigment in patches of skin in various areas of their body, in its main doll line, it allows kids to play out even more stories they see in the world around them. To design this doll, the team worked with a dermatologist to ensure vitiligo was accurately represented. The beautiful Barbie features a more petite body than the original doll that made its debut at the New York Toy Fair and has vitiligo areas on her face, neck, and hands. Learn about the 12 most expensive Barbie dolls ever made.

barbie wheelchair fashionistaCourtesy Mattel

Barbie uses a wheelchair

Kids will open their minds and hearts when they play with Barbie and her manual wheelchair with its rolling wheels, working brake, and ramp. This doll is such a hit in the United Kingdom, that one in four dolls sold is a Barbie with a wheelchair, Mattel reports. Check out these childhood collections that could actually make you rich.

barbie fashionista purple hairCourtesy Mattel

Barbie celebrates her curves

Body diversity is being celebrated by the brand that includes tall, petite, curvy and a doll with a smaller bust, less defined waist, and more defined arms. The top-selling doll for almost every week in 2019 was a curvy black fashionista with an Afro hairstyle.

barbie rainbow hair fashionistaCourtesy Mattel

Barbie is over the rainbow

There are so many reasons to love this Barbie. Let’s start with the overall chill vibe that tells the world she is comfortable in her real body. Her multi-colored, mermaid-inspired hair invites girls to be open and playful. She jettisons the uncomfortable heels and opts for sneakers and rocks a cozy sweatshirt announcing she plans to, “Dream often.” Find out which 13 vintage Barbies are worth a fortune today.

ken doll long blonde hair fashionistasCourtesy Mattel

Ken honors his roots

Ken’s newest style differs from the traditional molded look because it’s the first to have rooted locks (versus the traditional plastic molded hair) and it’s long to boot. The dynamic dude also rocks jean shorts and a tie-dyed tank top. Pretty awesome for a man born in 1961! Find out 20 Barbie secrets you never knew.

white barbie natural textured afro hair fashionistaCourtesy Mattel

Barbie embraces her textured hair

No offense to the Teenage Fashion Model’s blonde ponytail of yesteryear, but we want this Barbie with her curly white Afro to be our BFF. She is sparkling with self-love and original style and can teach us how to navigate the neighborhood with pizzazz in platform shoes.

ken doll red hair ginger fashionistaCourtesy Mattel

Ken gives a nod to gingers

Move over Ed Sheeran, you’re not the only ginger in town. Ken is looking pretty cool in his graphically designed yellow shirt. The latest line features Ken in three body types: broad, slim and original. Swipe right. Find out how much Barbie’s DreamHouse would cost in real life.

barbie doll with prosthetic legCourtesy Mattel

Barbie has a prosthetic leg

Mattel debuted dolls displaying permanent disabilities in 2019, including a doll with a prosthetic limb. The team collaborated with Jordan Reeves, the 13-year-old co-founder of Born Just Right, who is on a mission to build creative solutions that help kids with disabilities to create a play experience that is as authentic as possible. A second doll with a darker skin tone that uses a prosthetic limb is set to debut later this year. Remember these Barbie controversies from the past?

barbie doll with no hairCourtesy Mattel

Barbie has no hair

The Barbie brand is continuing the journey to represent global diversity in the fashion doll aisle by adding a doll with no hair that will launch in June. The Mattel team notes that the doll is reflective of hair trends seen from the catwalk to the sidewalk saying, “If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line.” Take a walk down memory lane with these 25 craziest toy fads in history.

dream barbievia target.com

Barbie is channeling good vibes

Barbie is down with the buzzword “self-care” in the new line of Breathe With Me Barbie. Yogis will recognize that Barbie, dressed in comfy loungewear, is sitting in Sukhasana, the beginning position for all seated poses. When kids press the button in her necklace, she starts one of five guided meditation exercises that they can join in on, too. Read on to discover the 12 rare Barbies that are worth big bucks.

Stacey Marcus
Stacey Marcus is a regular contributor to RD.com where she covers subjects ranging from penguin secrets to Jeopardy! conundrums. Stacey’s work has also appeared on FamilyHandyman.com and TheHealthy.com as well as in top regional and national outlets including Boston magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Destination I Do, Ocean Home Magazine, and Playboy.com. She earned a BA in Communications from Simmons University.