Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary issue will feature doll alongside 'unapologetic' supermodels
NEW YORK -- After 50 years of debate over her unattainably perfect figure, Barbie now is unapologetic about her tiny waist and endless legs.
To prove it? The doll, which is made by Mattel, is flaunting her frame in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's 50th anniversary issue that's hitting stands on Tuesday. She'll be featured alongside supermodels like Christie Brinkley and Brooklyn Decker as part of a campaign called "unapologetic."
"As a legend herself, and under constant criticism about her body and how she looks, posing ... gives Barbie ... and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are," Mattel said in a statement.
The campaign is a departure for the 55-year-old doll, which has been both beloved as a plaything and criticized as an unrealistic standard of beauty for decades.
This move, which sparked online debate on Wednesday about body image issues, comes as Mattel tries to revive interest in the doll icon.
Barbie is worth an estimated $1.3 billion in sales for the toymaker and she's the No. 1 toy brand.
Mattel hopes the "unapologetic" campaign will boost Barbie's image.
There will be a collector Sports Illustrated Barbie doll, an event at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Beach House on Monday, a billboard in Times Square andnote auth="John Bialas" coll="0" ctime="1cf2861 d8694b73" mtime="1cf2861 d8694b73">
Barbie also will appear on the cover of 1,000 issues in an advertising "cover wrap" for the New York Toy Fair, which starts Sunday.