Why We Need More Dolls Without Thigh Gap

Ashley Graham’s Barbie doll was made to her body measurements and we couldn’t love it more. Here’s why more dolls need to look more realistic.

Ashley-Graham's-Barbiephoto credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Glamour

Model, body activist and entrepreneur Ashley Graham was honoured with a Barbie made to her measurements at the 2016 Glamour Women of the Year Summit in Los Angeles this past week.

“Thighs touching, round hips, arms and tummy! Thank you Mattel and Barbie for immortalizing me into plastic,” Graham tweeted.

The Ashley Graham Barbie doll looks as beautiful as its inspiration and is even wearing an exact replica of an outfit Graham previously wore.

The 29-year-old, who’s the first size 16 model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, has always encouraged women to be proud of the bodies that they’re in, no matter their shape or size.

“I was never going to be perfect enough for an industry that defines perfection from the outside in. And that’s OK. Rolls, curves, cellulite, I love every part of me,” Graham said in her 2015 Ted Talk titled Plus Size? – More like My Size.

Recent studies show that positive messages like Graham’s may be more important than ever. According to The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 81 percent of women wanted the media to portray more a greater diversity of women’s age, race, and size.

Matell and Barbie has been publicly celebrated after releasing dolls that come in three new sizes (curvy, petite and tall) and in seven different skin tones.

“Would I have looked at my body differently if I were playing with Barbies that looked like me? Would I have accepted my thighs and my round arms and my round stomach a little bit more? Probably,” Graham said to The Hollywood Reporter.

“I think it’s absolutely incredible that an iconic image in the fashion world, like Barbie, is keeping up with the times and following along with body diversity in such a big way.”

What do you think of the new Ashley Graham doll?  Do you think Barbie dolls played a role in your body image and self-esteem?