Barbie’s Got A New Body begins like an immersion piece with a description of exactly where the writer is – i.e. a bright pink room. I almost expect Barbie to walk in and join her.
It soon becomes an in-depth feature piece that seamlessly integrates factual elements of Barbie’s business with anecdotal and punchy snippets. The language is also used cleverly to convey the empire that ‘Barbie’ has built, in some ways it conveys just how far the empire goes with a line on the death threats the CEO has received.
For an article about a new anti-body-shaming and inclusive Barbie, some of language reinforces these issues.
“…With meat on her thighs and a protruding tummy and behind.”
However, it also critics the potentially shallow body tags on the new barbies – namely, petite, tall, curvy. New skin tones are also less acknowledged when perhaps they should have been.
I am a fan of the Time Magazine’s writing style with their use of not-too-clever tricks and crafted composition. The writer is skilled at picking out the ‘good’ bits and piecing them together. They use visceral quotes to create a well-rounded piece, getting the thoughts of focus group moms, employees and the kids who still snicker at the ‘curvy’ doll. There is also an abundance of humorous and sharp finishing lines. Oh the cleverness of journalism.
I am uncertain about some of the details included and question their relevance – like including that one mom who has a tattoo. Perhaps it is just a more descriptive way of telling us who’s speaking but it leaves me unsure.
I am unsure too about the quote at the end. It seems to lack something in a piece that goes so broadly. To bring it back to whether or not people will like it or be neutral towards it seems underwhelming.
This piece refers to Barbie’s Got a New Body by Eliana Dockterman.