Gone are the days when swimsuit models were required to be a size 0—or at least Photoshopped to appear that way. In fact, today’s best models to promote body acceptance may not have real bodies at all.
In January, Mattel unveiled Barbie’s new Fashionistas line, in which Barbie comes in a variety of body types including curvy, petite and tall. Mattel made the cover of Time magazine with this launch, demonstrating the 55-year-old brand’s evolution to represent a broader view of beauty in today’s society.
And just last week, Target announced it is teaming up with the revamped fashion doll brand to showcase its diverse 2016 swimsuit line. The new Barbie dolls were paired with miniature versions of some of Target’s newest swimsuits to reinforce a positive and confident body image across all different shapes and sizes.
— Barbie (@Barbie) January 28, 2016
The photo of five Barbies—with different body types, skin tones and hairstyles—was posted on Instagram with the caption “Just like @BarbieStyle (whose squad is looking super cute in these #TargetStyle suits!), we’re getting every body together to dive into this swim season.”
Target demonstrated its affinity for all body types when it launched its famous “Target Loves Every Body” campaign last year, in which the retail giant enlisted the help of plus-sized models and bloggers to advertise swimwear designed for all shapes and sizes. And with Barbie’s evolved and diverse line (featuring four body types, seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles), the dolls have proven to be the perfect models for Target’s 2016 swimwear campaign.
But the campaign doesn’t stop there. In fact, Target is urging everyone to participate and show off their swimwear so no one misses out. “As part of our 2016 swim campaign, we’re encouraging guests on social to tag #NOFOMO (no fear of missing out!), which is all about shaking off body insecurities and not letting anything get in the way of having fun in our swimsuits,” the company said.
Although the 2016 swimwear line is available at Target for women of many different sizes, it is not, unfortunately, available in Barbie sizes as of yet. But the dolls themselves are for sale at Target—and they sure do rock the bathing suits with confidence, poise and style.
Matt Emert is a Senior Consultant in the Verbal Identity group at Interbrand New York