Barbie isn’t famous for being diverse or body-positive. Though Mattel has taken strides to make the iconic doll more realistic with petite and curvy sizes, in general, she’s still the same blonde, busty babe with an impossibly small waist. That’s why model Ashley Graham only agreed to be part of the Barbie Sheroes series and have a limited edition doll made in her likeness, if the doll actually looked like her—curves and all.
Graham unveiled the doll on Instagram, noting it has “round hips, arms and tummy,” and no thigh gap—something she made sure of. When presented with her Barbie earlier this week at Glamour‘s Women of the Year awards, the first thing she did was lift up her dress and check her thighs. “Are her thighs touching?” she said into the microphone, before excitedly screaming, “Her thighs are touching!”
“[Women] are seeing somebody who appreciates the things about their own bodies that haven’t been celebrated, like cellulite and back fat,” she said. “These women never had a curvy role model growing up who not only looked like them but was also outspoken about what they go through.”
Her only complaint? Graham wanted her Barbie to have cellulite, but had to agree with Mattel when they said holes in the doll’s plastic legs would look like a production error. Even without it, Graham’s Barbie really does look like her—it even comes wearing an Opening Ceremony dress, Sonia Rykiel denim jacket and Pierre Hardy boots.
Other Barbie Sheroes include Zendaya, Ava DuVernay, Gabby Douglas and Misty Copeland. Graham’s doll isn’t available yet, but just the fact that Barbie is actually modeled after a real woman, is a huge step towards rewriting standards of beauty.
“Now you can actually look at Barbie and not think ‘I want to be Barbie,’” Graham said. “You can look at Barbie and all of her friends and you think ‘I am Barbie.’”