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The new Barbie series has 'tall, petite and curvy' dolls

Mattel has come up with a new line of Barbie dolls to celebrate women of different sizes, skin colors and shapes. The new series represents 'a broader view of beauty,' the company says.

"We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand," Barbie's Evelyn Mazzocco said in a statement. "These 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."

"We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty," Mazzocco added.

The new dolls come in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and different clothes and accessories. They will initially be available on Mattel's website and later in stores. The classic Barbie doll, which debuted 57 years ago, will remain a part of the company's product line.

The curvy Barbie has a bigger bust, behind and even a protruding tummy. The doll even made it to the cover of February's Time magazine.

Feminists and parents have been criticizing the doll for setting an impossible ideal of women's beauty for half a century since the first model was launched, with a wide bust and suspciously slim figure.

There have been several modifications to the doll's body, including the introduction of an African-American Barbie and other ethnic versions in the 1960s. The doll has also tried out more than 180 careers, ranging from doctor or astronaut all the way to US president.

Mattel has been trying to reinvent its Barbie series after sales fell by over four percent in the last quarter, and as girls turn to other dolls and playthings including electronic devices like iPads.

mg/msh (Reuters, AP)

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