Ashley Graham has achieved so much in her modeling career. She’s established herself as a body-positive role model, was the first size-16 model on Sports Illustrated’s cover, and is the face of H&M. The cherry on top of this laundry list of successes? She was just recognized at Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards on Monday with her very own Barbie mini-me.
The doll is dressed in a sparkly, bodycon dress and jean jacket, which is something Ashley once wore in real life. Honestly, though, the outfit isn’t that special. The fact that the doll is scaled exactly to Ashley's own measurements? Now that’s special.
Ashley was adamant that the Barbie should have thighs that touch and cellulite, just as she does. While the cellulite wasn’t possible to achieve with plastic, the body shape certainly was. Matell, Barbie’s parent company, has been pushing body acceptance since its launch of curvy, tall, and petite dolls in March, and Ashley’s Barbie is the latest in its efforts to break down the unrealistic beauty standards the company has promoted for years.
Ashley Graham says, “The thighs touching was one way to show young girls that it’s okay for your thighs to touch, despite society saying that a ‘thigh gap’ is more beautiful.”
Ashley’s doll is part of Mattel’s “Shero” doll range, which is designed to promote boundary-breaking women. Other dolls in this line include minis of Zendaya, Misty Copeland, and Gabby Douglas. While Ashley’s Barbie won’t be on sale to the public, it’s definitely a step in the right direction of breaking down unrealistic beauty standards.
I, for one, think the doll is fabulous. While society still has a long way to go in terms of body positivity and universal acceptance, promoting real bodies to children can only be beneficial. Body-positive role models are becoming more outspoken, and it’s exciting to see that companies are finally taking note.