In an attempt to counteract the negative perception that their impossibly-proportioned, unrelentingly blonde classic Barbies set unrealistic beauty standards for young girls, Mattel recently released a new line of dolls with a variety of skin tones, hairstyles, heights, and body types.
While Petite Barbie and Curvy Barbie are definitely major steps forward, the most radical new design didn't manage to make it through to production: Sturdy Barbie. (She's a grown woman, though -- she prefers to go by "Sturdy Barb".)
The young girls who tested the new dolls were turned off by Barb's physical characteristics, like the fact that her feet can only fit into Crocs and her questionably faded tattoo. But Sturdy Barb would be an invaluable part of the Barbie universe, one that would prepare little girls for an adult world where Dream Houses are actually ranches in unpopular school districts and Dream Cars are 2004 Mitsubishi Galants, but where, if you work hard, someday you might have a job with vision and dental. Been Through a Lot Barbie is all of us.