So, in her report on the new Barbie body types, aikifox85 mentioned the idea of comparing Petite Barbie to Skipper, and once that idea was in my head, I couldn’t shake it; I had to do it. While I was at it, I added a few other Barbie-family dolls to the mix.
Before I get on with the post, though, let me apologize for the poor quality of the photos. I wanted to get this post up before tomorrow (I’ll explain my reasons in another post later tonight) so I had to take these pictures last night by artificial light. And in order to make the large number of dolls stand up easily without messing around with a bunch of stands that wouldn’t fit very well, I decided to lean them against a pillow underneath the comforter on my bed. So it’s even more amateurish than my usual photography.
Meet Petite Barbie. I don’t normally name my Barbies (I guess they’re all named Barbie?) but in the cases of Petite and Curvy, I’ve been giving them names and a little bit of background. So, my Petite is named Esperanza la Mer, and she’s from Casablanca. And I hate the earrings she came with, because they’re huge and clunky and don’t even match her dress, but Mattel made them non-removable, unlike the Barbie earrings of my childhood. (Which, admittedly, I frequently lost, which I suppose is the reason these are non-removable.) This morning, I gave up and cut them off. (I’ll have to post a picture of her at some point in her new, earring-free state. Actually, I should find some better earrings to put in the holes. No, better still, I should make some.)
Anyway, comparison time!
I wanted to put a traditional Barbie body (the body she had from 1966 until the late 1990s/early 2000s) in the mix for comparison’s sake, and I picked the “My Favorite Barbie” line’s “Black Barbie”, a reproduction of a 1980 doll. (A reproduction that I got two of, btw, one to leave in box and this one that I opened. I got two for two reasons: one, this is my favorite Barbie face mold, and two, because I wanted to change her into her wonderfully disco second outfit.) Beside her is Chelsie of the Generation Girl line. (And no, I would not remember her name if I hadn’t found one of the Generation Girl booklets in the basement yesterday, still in the protective plastic bag so it wasn’t musty and moldy and disgusting.) Moving past Chelsie, we have Jazzy, the central doll of a short-lived side-line. On Jazzy’s other side is a reproduction Francie. (Yeah, I got two of her as well.) Then, of course, there’s Petite Barbie, followed by Teen Courtney, one of the friends of Teen Skipper. Beyond Courtney is a (fairly) recent Skipper from the brief return of the Teen Skipper face. (Not sure how brief; I only have two of them, and they were both actually the same doll. Maybe I missed the start of her return, or maybe I passed on some later ones. Or maybe they only did one. I’m not sure.) And on the far end we have the current Skipper.
But it’s hard to draw any conclusions with their clothes in the way.
There are a lot of things to notice here, but one thing I’m spotting in the post-2000 dolls is that the cinch in the waist has moved up to a more realistic position. (Less so for the brief return of teen Skipper than for Petite Barbie and current Skipper.) The earlier dolls had their waists down around the belly button’s level, which is not actually where the narrowest portion of the hourglass is on normal human women. (Unless I’m a lot more abnormal than I thought!) Anyway, Esperanza really stands out here for the shape of her legs; she’s much thicker in the thighs than any of these other dolls. Further than that, she’s the only one with legs that are shaped like an actual human’s. (Though if I had included more recent Barbies, that would not be the case. But I mostly wanted to focus on the shorter dolls.) Francie also stands out for having an altogether less detailed figure, but if I’d included my childhood Skipper (excluded for her entirely childlike body) or a reproduction pre-1966 Barbie, then Francie wouldn’t stand out as much on that score.
This modern Skipper is definitely the one with the body type most similar to Esperanza’s. (And they have virtually the same arms, now that I think about it.) Their heights are about the same, too, but there are significant differences. As you can see from the front view here, Skipper’s waist is lower, as are her breasts, and her hips are more narrow, while her waist isn’t as narrow. Also, her neck is shorter. Enviably, Skipper’s knees are jointed, where Esperanza’s are immobile.
Viewed from the side, you can see that Esperanza’s breasts are not only higher, but are also larger. (The higher part is presumably to simulate the effect of wearing a bra. Or it could be just a sculpting difference.) Skipper is all around much narrower from the side, except in the hips/buttocks, where they’re about the same, though the buttock region is shaped differently. Also, as you could see if her feet hadn’t sunk down into the comforter, Skipper has nice flat feet, unlike Esperanza’s high-heeled feet.
Anyway, it’s clear that the Petite Barbie body is different from all the preceding bodies, but I think they may have used this most recent Skipper body as a starting point.
And now, before I get to the clothes swapping, I want to make a few other comparisons.
While I was at it, I wanted to highlight the differences in the skin tones on these three. Mattel has gotten a lot better about having multiple skin tones for their dolls of all ethnicities. I think the darkest doll in my collection is the Dolls of the World Princess of South Africa doll (she’s practically the actual color black) and the palest may actually be my Made to Move doll Lea or Kira or whatever her name is. (I should give her a name of her own instead of trying to remember which name they randomly assigned her.)
I also wanted to compare these three, who I thought were pretty similar to each other. Well, less similar in Francie’s case. But I think Jazzy’s body may have been the basis of the Teen Skipper body, though there is a substantial difference as well.
Francie’s waist joint is significantly different from the other Barbie family dolls, in that it’s at an angle. Jazzy’s is also different: it’s strung with a rubber band, so her torso can tilt and rotate in a considerable number of directions, though it can’t hold most poses. (That was probably a central theme of the Jazzy sub-line. I don’t really know much about them; they came out at a time when I wasn’t buying dolls. I only have the two Jazzy dolls, and both of them I got at…uh, I’m not actually sure where or when I got them. Garage sale, flea market, the Goodwill shop…could have been any of those.) I actually hadn’t paid enough attention to Jazzy to even realize she was strung until now. The one line of the Barbie family that could need to be restrung? I kind of want to get more of them for that reason alone. I mean, that’s pretty wild!
Anyway, here’s Esperanza in the new outfit I got for her from Etsy. I forgot to credit the artist on the coat Romana was wearing yesterday, but it was also from My Sweet Doll Boutique, like this one. (I also got a Curvy Barbie dress from that seller, too.) Having been made for Petite Barbie, it obviously fits her beautifully. (Even if it clashes horribly with her earrings.)
Courtney can also wear the outfit perfectly. (Though it definitely doesn’t match the decoration on her braid!) You can see in this photo that the coat’s actually lined, a detail often left out on doll clothes, particularly in such a small size.
For Francie, I went all-out and even had her wear the little pillbox hat that came with the outfit. It’s a very ’60s style of hat, so I thought it appropriate for the reproduction ’60s doll. (Even though Francie was supposed to be mod, and pillbox hats were from the more “respectable” side of fashion.)
Jazzy can wear the dress all right, but the coat didn’t look right; she’s too wide in the shoulders, I think.
New teen Skipper (or whatever she should rightfully be called) looks just fine in this outfit, apart from the pink streaks in her hair kind of clashing with it, but the coat looks a tiny bit big, particularly in the shoulder area.
Modern Skipper looks nice in the dress (again, apart from the pink streak in her hair) but the coat didn’t look right through the shoulders.
Moving into the larger dolls, I didn’t want to risk the lovely, hand-sewn dress, so I thought I’d just try Esperanza’s stock dress on them. Chelsie can wear it, but it’s a bit baby dollish.
And here’s the big test, right? Because if you ask the general, non-doll-collecting public about what Barbie’s body looks like, the 1966 body that was standard for more than 30 years is going to be what they’ll describe, despite that it’s no longer in use except for reproduction dolls. It may look from the front like the dress fits her (apart from being too short) but…
…it can’t close in the back. Petite Barbie is much more trim than the old 1966 body. (I could try it on a lot of the interim dolls, but…too much time involved. I have a ton of research I need to do, between class and preparing for my main blog’s April A-to-Z.)
In the end, I decided to put the new dress on Francie, and have Esperanza trade dresses with the new teen Skipper. This dress isn’t entirely ideal on Esperanza — though it looks a lot better now that I’ve cut off her earrings! — but it’s nicer than what she came with (though I do like her stock dress) and it’ll certainly do for now. Though now I need to go searching through all my Barbie shoes for some that’ll look better with it than the black shoes she came with.
So, there you have it. A little bit of comparison between Petite Barbie and an eclectic assortment of other Barbie-line dolls. The gallery for this post can be found here.
And now I must go, for I have much to do today. Because of that, I don’t have time to proofread this post before I publish it, so I apologize if there are any errors or terrible turns of phrase. I’ll try to edit it…um…this weekend? I may not have the time and ability until then. (Again, I’ll explain in another post later tonight.)
Oh, and like I said earlier, I’ll post my Curvy Barbie and Lammily post once the Lammily clothes I ordered from Etsy arrive. No, scratch that. I’ll be posting it next week, irregardless. If the clothes haven’t arrived by then, I’ll just do another post when they do.