Young girls between the ages of 5 to 8 showed signs of “lower self-esteem and a greater desire for a thinner body shape” when exposed to Barbie dolls.
Creators of the Barbie doll, Mattel, have announced that there will be three new body shapes added to the range of dolls this year.
 
The new dolls have been created to give more diversity to the collection and to increase Mattel’s sales, which dropped by 20pc from 2012 to 2014.
 
Since the introduction of the iconic doll to the shelves of toy stores worldwide in 1959, Barbie has been one of the most controversial children’s toy.
 
The ability for young children to customise Barbie’s outfits and act out an imaginary life through the plastic figure is enticing to young children, but often worrying to parents.
 
Barbie’s unrealistic body proportions left many worrying that the doll could have a negative effect on young girls’ body image.
 
According to the Huffington Post, in 2006 three British reporters asked the question, “Does Barbie make girls want to be thin?” and the answer they received was yes.
 
Young girls between the ages of 5 to 8 showed signs of “lower self-esteem and a greater desire for a thinner body shape” when exposed to Barbie dolls.
 
Mattel’s new range of Barbie dolls aims to cater to more realistic ideas of the different female body types that exist.
 
The iconic doll will now be available in four different body shapes – the original thin, blue-eyed Barbie, a tall Barbie, a petite Barbie and a curvy Barbie sporting a bigger bust, wider hips and larger thighs.
 
"We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand," Evelyn Mazzocco, global general manager and senior vice president of Mattel, said in a statement.
 
"These new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them - the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them.”
 
In addition to the new body shapes, Barbie will be available in seven different skin tones, 22 eye colors, different face shapes, and 24 hair styles.
 
The new range of Barbie dolls show a positive movement towards body-confidence and eliminating the idea of a “perfect body”.
 
"We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty," Mazzocco said.
 
The hashtag #TheDollEvolves is currently trending on social media sites, spreading the word of the new range of Barbie dolls that are soon to be sold in stores worldwide later this spring.