Since its invention in 1959, the Barbie doll has been crafted in a rather unattainable body shape.

With an impossibly small waist and unbelievably long legs, the childhood favourite has long been criticised for not giving girls a realistic role model.

However in the last year, toymaker Mattel has done its best to change that.

First they introduced curvy, petite and tall models in February, then they released dolls in seven skin tones to represent the many races around the world – but their newest idea is our favourite.

 

Mattel have immortalised plus-size model and designer Ashley Graham in plastic figurine form, and the doll doesn’t have a thigh gap in sight.

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“I’m thrilled Barbie has not only evolved their product, but also has continued to honor women who are pushing boundaries,” Graham said in a statement, “We need to work together to redefine the global image of beauty and continue to push for a more inclusive world.”

The one-of-a-kind Barbie may not be going on sale (unless demand sees otherwise), but its very creation does send a powerful message about body positivity.

“It was important that the Barbie resembled me as much as possible,” the Sports Illustrated cover star told The Hollywood Reporter. “She had to have her thighs touch. No ands, ifs or buts about it.”

 “The thighs touching was one way to show young girls that it’s OK for your thighs to touch, despite society saying that a ‘thigh gap’ is more beautiful.”

The doll, which features a rounded belly and curvier hips than your typical Barbie, even almost had cellulite – until technicalities thwarted Graham’s plans.

“I asked for cellulite but obviously plastic and cellulite don’t go hand in hand,” she said, explaining that Mattel thought bumpy plastic would look like a production fault.

But there’s one more change we’d like to see…

While we’re thrilled with the body-positive model (and hope it goes on worldwide sale), there’s still one Barbie missing from shelves… a hijabi Barbie.

A burqa-wearing Barbie was designed for the 50th anniversary

A Muslim Barbie was made for brand’s 50th anniversary seven years ago (she was covered head-to-toe and wore a burqa), but that particular doll is not available to buy online or in stores.

In fact, it was sold in auction at Sotheby’s with proceeds going to Save The Children charity.

If Mattel want to be truly diverse, fingers crossed we’ll see a Muslim doll –  as over 1.6 billion people in the world practice the religion – in the very near future.

In the meantime, we’ll just pretend it exists thanks to Hijarbie (an Instagram ‘star’ whose modest clothes are made by her blogger owner)…

 
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Image: Ashley Graham/Instagram