Real plastic comes to the pages of the upcoming annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Iconic fashion doll Barbie will be strutting her stuff, along with models like Christie Brinkley and Brooke Decker. The Associated Press reports it’s part of a Mattel attempt to freshen up the 55-year-old Barbie brand; the toy maker’s name for the campaign is Unapologetic.
Barbie has faced criticism over the years for giving young girls an unattainable standard of beauty. Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit editor says Barbie fits in with the swimsuit issues’ “message of empowerment” for women. But a branding expert says the swimsuit issue is “one step away from Playboy magazine” and may send the wrong message to girls.