The market has spoken. And it seems consumers don’t have an appetite for “Fat Barbie.”
Sales of Barbie dolls plunged 15% in the first quarter of 2017 shortly after Mattel introduced “Curvy Barbie” and a slew of ethnic versions with different skin tones. Mattel may soon also launch hijab-wearing Muslim Barbies.
In response to these changes, Barbie sales dropped to their lowest levels in 23 years, Mattel said in a press release Friday.
While Mattel had hoped that adding overweight and ethnic Barbies to its doll lineup would boost sales by pandering to a larger consumer base, the plan backfired.
Moreover, Mattel’s stock — which closed at $21.79 per share on Friday — is now hovering at a 52-week low.
Mattel launched Curvy Barbie last year in response to criticism that its skinny, blonde Barbie dolls damaged young girls’ self-esteem and promoted eating disorders.
On the flip side, opponents of the “Fat Barbie” argued that glamorizing the overweight doll was normalizing obesity, and therefore, promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.
Leftists also claimed the blonde Barbies perpetuate racist stereotypes of beauty by glamorizing a pretty white girl. If this is how a parent feels, all they have to do is not buy a blonde Barbie for their daughter. Problem solved!
Obviously, women of all sizes, shapes and ethnicities are beautiful, so why impute racism or “size-ism” to the Barbie doll? It’s just a toy. No one is forcing anyone to buy it.
Unfortunately for Mattel, using toys to push politically-correct leftist propaganda isn’t profitable. As a public-traded company, Mattel has a responsibility to maximum profits for its shareholders.
Mattel executives may have forgotten that children play with their toys for fun — not to be indoctrinated.
So the moral of the story for Mattel may be: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And, we might add: Stop using toys to push leftist propaganda. Kids don’t care about your agendas. Like Barbie, they just wanna have fun!
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