Check my Hair Out

By Melinda Aissani

Do you remember as a child when you were walking towards the pink toy department of the supermarket, and you absolutely wanted that specific toy? Such as the little dinette to make meals, a baby to be like mom, and the makeup palette. And of course the indisputable, the flagship classic, the Barbie doll. It is the most popular doll with moments of controversy. Over the years she reinvented her classic self into a new kind of icon. Here is her latest incarnation with her new collection of hair colours, so Check my Hair Out

Designed in the 40s, the Barbie doll via its phenomenal success has become an icon in the world of toys. Born in 1959 at the Mattel toy company, her mum was creator Ruth Handler, who named her after her daughter Barbara.

At that time dolls were rather round with a face much heavier than their body. As for Barbie, she was ‘born’ with the most ‘perfect’ figure of the day. Opulent chest, fine flat waist, totally in opposition to the round and asexual style of the dolls of the time. Blonde with coloured eyes, white, western features and so the mythology around her character started.

A model of beauty, a mannequin doll that has immediate success. At first, Barbie appeared in the United States then she conquered the European market.

In 1961 she met her boyfriend the Ken doll, during the shooting of a commercial. Her appearance in 1970, changed from classic and feminine to so more real, a young woman along with professional clothes. She was no longer the simple model doll, Barbie entered the professional world and became an independent woman, in fact, Barbie had more than 200 jobs. Mattel created a Barbie with jobs so that grandchildren would find her an inspirational woman for future working women.

In 1980 Mattel creates the first black Barbie and offered up dolls with multiple ethnicities; meet Barbie from Peru and Barbie from Indonesia. She became more famous than ever with more than 86% of the little girls aged from three to ten years old owning a version of her.

But the popularity of Barbie didn’t stop at a toy. Her media coverage was quickly born with the adaptations on the big screens with movies, alongside cartoons and books.

But still, she retained the ‘perfect’ 1950s physique’, a perfect body, unattainable and disproportionate. Her legs are far too long, her face too thin, her eyes too large.

In 2016 Barbie started her ‘transition from uber skinny to far more realistic in size.

It is well noted our individual perceptions of our bodies can greatly influence our mental health. Role models from dolls to music stars via screen goddesses can truly affect our image our ourselves as outside the norm if we only ever see super slim ‘perfection’ As a consequence young kids can develop body dysmorphic disorder, bulimia, body image disturbance, anorexia or develop bad habits such as sugar-free, pills, surgery and other worrying behaviours and conditions.

Now the company is working with many influencers to diversify the barbie doll. Recently body positivity superstar Alva Claire and trans model Charley Dean Sayers are part of a new campaign. Showcasing a new limited edition of Barbie x Josh Wood Colour hair glazes in Pink Quartz, Blue Reef, and Peach Blush.

A collaboration celebrating 30 years of the best-selling iconic original Barbie. Called Totally Hair, she is now reissued for a new generation with curvy, tall and petite, ethnically diverse dolls. Each with 8.5 of extra-long playable hair, using limited edition Barbie x Josh Wood Colour hair glazes.

Celebrated hair colourist Josh Wood is a renowned hair colourist known for his A-list clientele. He has worked with famous celebrities such as Gwendoline Christie, Victoria Beckham, and Jerry Hall. He has created exclusive hair colour techniques for the campaign such as blending and melting colour. He says:

Everybody deserves the best quality, expert-created hair colour – wherever they are.” Including Barbie.

Photographer: Conor Clinch, and Stylist: Lola Chatterton

The barbie ” Pom Pom”, seen on Alva Claire, has her hair blending and melding colour for vibrant, unique hair.

And for “The Pigtail”, also seen on Alva Claire; a triple dip technique, using Alva’s natural colour at the root. Then layering in blues and purples, ensuring there are 3 bands of colour with extreme length.

That’s why the brand Mattel has collaborated with those two influential with these two influencers. Alva Claire embodies the plus-size women who assume their beauty and refuses the beauty standard.
And on the other hand, Charley Dean Sayers embodies the culture of gender in the world of the Barbie doll.

”The Straight Strobes” seen on Charley Dean Sayers, are strategically placed with contrasting colours to give a feeling of 80s highlights.

Charley Dean Sayers embodies “The Split Dye”, a new technique by Josh Wood Colour. It works with the parting to ensure a dramatic split between the peach and pink. Colours that remain us, the Barbie tone colours.

These campaigns embody Body positivity. Regardless of size, shape, skin tone, gender, and physical abilities, challenging present-day beauty standards that can be an undesirable social construct.

Those two collaborators went to focus on changing the perspective of the beauty of how society leads it. The movement aims to challenge unrealistic ideals of physical attractiveness. Whose impact on the mental health of someone, by building a positive body image, can immediately improve self-confidence and encouraged us to love ourselves. There’s no perfection without imperfection.

Maybe you didn’t grow up loving iconic dolls, these changes highlight the massive victory for the body-positive movements and social equality. Most of all they say (if Barbie could talk) that we are all uniquely different, and one all at the same time

For more information on the limited edition Barbie x Josh Wood Colour hair glazes visit

Josh Wood says:

“I am so proud to be working with Barbie on bringing contemporary hair colour into the realm of play. Hair colour has always been creative and a way to express someone’s personality, so it’s great to collaborate on these new colour techniques with Barbie.

If you enjoyed Check my Hair, be sure to read Don’t Forget

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