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Diverse ‘Barbie’ Is Hurting Sales For Mattel

Diverse ‘Barbie’ Is Hurting Sales For Mattel

By Dr. Sinclair N. Grey III

The word ‘diversity’ likes to be used in business because it opens doors for people to support various businesses. However, when one critically examines the word ‘diversity’ when it comes to promoting anything Black, a different set of results are brought to the surface.

While people like to claim that we are living in a post-racial world, especially with the election of former President Barack Obama eight years ago, the truth of the matter is that America hasn’t really changed from what it was ‘racial, just hidden better.’

A few weeks ago, David Gabriel, the Vice President of Sales for Marvel spoke about the decline in sales when they introduced a diverse group of super-heroes. Sadly, many people still hold on the notion of super-heroes being male. Never mind the super-hero ‘Wonder Woman.’

Now another company is experiencing a sharp decline in sales because they decided to add diversity to their product portfolio. Mattel saw a 15% drop in sales after they gave Barbie a more curvy figure. This was the first time the company decided to do such a thing in an effort to appeal more realistic to young girls.

In a story published by the Daily Mail, “After 57 years as an impossibly thin blonde with an out-of-proportion chest, Barbie was given a fuller figure so it is more reflective of the world girls see around them. The move also recognized how youngsters admire curvier stars such as Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian.”

Barbie became taller as well as petite. She had different skin tones and various hair styles.

“The firm said it had a ‘responsibility to reflect a broader view of beauty’ – even though most of the £9.99 toys still wear short skirts and high heels.”

Isn’t it just amazing how adding diversity can drop sales? Will Mattel continue to promote diversity with Barbie or will they throw in the towel and revert back to their old model?


Dr. Sinclair N. Grey III is a speaker, author, and success coach. Contact him at or on Twitter

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