Speed Reads

Life is plastic it's fantastic

After 56 years, Barbie dolls will finally be able to wear flats

In what can be described as one very small, plastic step for womankind, Mattel has debuted a line of Barbies that can now wear flats. After 56 years and countless careers, the iconic fashion doll will finally have ankles that can adjust to high-heels or flat shoes. That must be a relief to Doctor Barbie, who must not have enjoyed those E.R. shifts in pumps; or Lifeguard Barbie, who, though barefoot, still had to run to save lives on pointed toe.

The new line, called Barbie Fashionistas, will also include 14 different faces, 22 hair styles, and 23 hair colors, a far cry from the dolls of yesteryear that came with identical faces and skin tones that could best be categorized as “white,” “black,” and “generically ethnic.” So far, though, it appears Mattel has no plans to make Barbie’s longtime boyfriend Ken better reflect the average man, namely one whose head doesn't spontaneously fall off.