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New, Barbie Doll Is Aimed At Kids As Young As 3

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NEW YORK — Whether you like her or not, Barbie has changed again. This time, she has become a toy for kids as young as three.

The controversial hourglass shape has been taken out of My First Barbie, which came out on Thursday, a month before Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling star in a live-action movie about the doll in July.

The slightly softer-bodied Barbie follows on the heels of tall, petite, and voluptuous models unveiled in a big makeover five years ago.

My First Barbie stands 13.5 inches tall, which is 2 inches higher than regular Babs and features a wider waist that de-emphasizes the bust line (which remains in place), and flesh-tone modesty undergarments that are permanently attached.

Her style is more childlike, with heart, star, and flower motifs on pajamas and flouncy preschool-friendly clothes and swimwear. Her jewelry is bigger because she has small hands, and her hair is longer so it’s easier to comb.

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Barbie Hands Are Now Linked Together

As with earlier versions of the doll, the limbs on my first Barbie can be moved, and her face is still recognizable. A significant achievement: her fingers and thumbs are linked, removing a common complaint that Barbie’s hands get tangled in her garments when youngsters try to put them on.

Mattel executive vice president of Barbie and dolls Lisa McKnight told The Associated Press that the business designed the new version in response to parent feedback.

“We talk to parents and kids practically every day of the year,” she explained. “We saw a trend of younger children wanting to play with Barbie. Parents were concerned that their preschool-aged children lacked the fine motor skills necessary for a pleasurable play experience with our classic fashion doll.”

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The New Doll’s Release Has Four Skin Tones And Hair Textures.

Critics of 63-year-old Barbie, designed to represent a girl in her late teens, have long claimed that her measurements promote unrealistic, sexualized body ideals for girls. My First Barbie, which costs $19.99, goes a long way toward resolving that issue.

McKnight wouldn’t talk directly about the criticism or say if My First Barbie could help change this negative view.

According to Jody DeVos, former leader of Mattel’s child development and now chief learning officer for Begin, a company that creates learning apps and another educational fare for kids, research is mixed on whether Barbie’s bad rap on body issues and her adult-leaning fashion sense have any impact on children.

When it comes to Barbie, she says, “there’s a strong nostalgia aspect” among parents.

“I don’t believe a single doll is most fitting. “I believe doll play encourages children to practice narrative, perspective-taking, and social relationships,” DeVos added.

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Barbie Universe Still Growing

Since 2013, when sales of the Barbie line went down, they have gone up a lot.

Joaniko Kohchi, head of Adelphi University’s Institute for Parenting, questioned Mattel’s motivations.

“If we think about Mattel guiding our choices, we’ve already kind of constrained them,” she explained.

My First Barbie, according to McKnight, will not be a separate, parallel Barbie universe. She said that more content with the doll would be posted on Barbie’s YouTube page later this month. The first thing that would be posted would be an animated special about planning a surprise party.

Andrea Werner, a pediatric occupational therapist in West Hartford, Connecticut, and mother of a preschooler and a newborn, believes that doll play benefits children’s development.

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Some Still Not Convinced Barbie Is Age Appropriate

“There are a lot of dolls on the market,” she pointed out. “Companies will constantly endeavor to market the next greatest thing to consumers.”

Kohchi isn’t convinced that My First Barbie is age-appropriate.

“We know that if you’re going to present a child an image and say, here is beauty, this is fantastic, look how gorgeous that is,” she explained. “It’s still a little older than a preschooler.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Celebrity

Heidi Klum Transforms Into a Multi-Person Peacock for Halloween 2023: See Her Show-Stopping Look

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The Halloween queen has returned.

Heidi Klum, 50, arrived at her annual Halloween event on Tuesday with a full team for her costume. She dressed up like a peacock for this year’s festival, relying on the support of others for the peacock’s tail feathers.

While arriving at Marquee New York, she (and her colorful entourage) stacked on each other, much like a Cirque du Soleil show, to change into a giant, gorgeous bird.

Heidi Klum, dressed in a cobalt blue bodysuit, was in the center. The America’s Got Talent judge donned an ornate headdress with a finely detailed beak.

On the red carpet, Klum chatted exclusively to PEOPLE about her inspiration for this year’s costume.

“I wanted to do a costume with a large number of people.” I wanted a large group of people who would merge into one entity. “And in my mind, that one thing was the peacock,” she explains.

The entrepreneur went on to say that she flew to Montreal to figure out how to stack everyone.

“My feet are a different pattern, so my feet melt into his legs,” she explains to PEOPLE, revealing how the placement of her feet was vital for the colors of her costume.

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Heidi Klum’s husband, Tom Kaulitz, walked the red carpet as an egg.

Rachel Zegler, Ice-T and Coco, Taylor Lautner Tay Dome, and others were among the celebrities in attendance.

According to the model and Project Runway host, this outfit has been in the works for a year. Every year, she throws a star-studded Halloween event and is already planning her next costume the next morning.

Heidi Klum is notorious for going to extraordinary measures for the holiday, such as learning to walk on stilts and putting on hours of prosthetics. Klum used to do her hair and cosmetics, but now she has a staff to assist her.

Heidi Klum has dressed up as a corpse, an old lady, and Princess Fiona from Shrek in the past, among many other famous outfits.

“I always try to find things that people wouldn’t naturally do,” Klum told PEOPLE earlier this year.

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum Transforms Into a Multi-Person Peacock for Halloween

Klum’s Halloween costume history includes her Jessica Rabbit look from 2015, which included considerable prosthetics. Klum shared an Instagram video of the procedure, demonstrating how they reproduced the character’s looks.

Klum’s triumphant comeback last year (she had paused the parties due to the COVID outbreak) produced one of her most renowned costumes yet – a worm costume. Klum was rendered unrecognizable by the intense stare, which revealed only her eyes and mouth.

Klum has also made Halloween an interactive event. In 2019, she showcased her getting-ready procedure by transforming herself into a window in New York City. Klum demonstrated her love for Halloween by producing a horror flick to commemorate the eerie season in 2020.

SOURCE – (People)

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Piper Laurie, 3-Time Oscar Nominee With Film Credits Such As ‘The Hustler’ And ‘Carrie,’ Dies At 91

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Early Saturday morning at her residence in Los Angeles, Piper Laurie, the determined Oscar-nominated actor who once renounced acting entirely in pursuit of a “more meaningful” existence, passed away. Laurie had appeared in several critically acclaimed roles. At the time, she was 91.

Marion Rosenberg, Laurie’s manager, emailed The Associated Press that she passed away of old age. Rosenberg described Laurie as “a marvelous human being and a phenomenal artist.”

Laurie, who was initially identified as Rosetta Jacobs upon her 1949 arrival in Hollywood, was immediately offered a contract with Universal-International, a studio she hated, which earned her a series of starring roles alongside, among others, Ronald Reagan, Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis.

Subsequently, in 1986, she was nominated for an Academy Award for the romantic drama “Children of a Lesser God,” the film adaptation of Stephen King’s horror classic “Carrie,” and the 1961 poolroom drama “The Hustler.” She also appeared in several critically acclaimed roles on television and the stage, including the antagonistic Catherine Martell in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” in the 1990s.

At seventeen, Laurie debuted in the film “Louisa” as Reagan’s daughter before appearing in “Francis Goes to the Races” opposite Francis the talking mule. She previously dated Curtis, with whom she collaborated on several films, including “Johnny Dark,” “The Prince Who Was a Thief,” “No Room for the Groom,” and “Son of Ali Baba.”

In 1955, she quit her $ 2,000-per-week job and vowed not to work again unless offered a respectable role.

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She relocated to New York, where she secured the theatrical and live television drama roles she desired.

Emmy nominations for her performances in “Days of Wine and Roses,” “The Deaf Heart,” and “The Road That Led After” facilitated her return to the film industry, where she starred in “The Hustler,” an acclaimed production, as Paul Newman’s troubled fiancée.

After that, Laurie turned her back on acting for many years. She wed film critic Joseph Morgenstern, had a daughter named Ann Grace, and relocated to a Woodstock, New York estate. She later explained that the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War influenced her adjustment.

“I was disillusioned and searching for a more meaningful existence,” she recalled, adding that she has never regretted the decision.

She declared, “My life was full,” in 1990. “I have always enjoyed working with my hands, and I have always been an artist.”

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Laurie gained recognition for her baking abilities when The New York Times published her recipes.

She participated in a tour of college campuses with a dozen musicians and actors in 1972 to support Sen. George McGovern’s presidential campaign. This was her only performance during that period.

Laurie was finally prepared to resume her acting career when director Brian De Palma contacted her regarding the role of Sissy Spacek’s deranged mother in “Carrie.”

Initially perceiving the script as unsatisfactory, she ultimately resolved to perform the role for amusement purposes. De Palma’s reprimand for imbuing a scene with humor made her realize he intended the film to be a suspense thriller.

“Carrie” was an Academy Award winner that sparked a trend toward films about adolescents in peril, and both Spacek and Laurie received Academy Award nominations.

Reinvigorated by her ambition to perform, Laurie resumed an extensive career spanning decades. She appeared in television series including “Murder, She Wrote,” “Matlock,” and “Frasier,” and on “ER” as the mother of George Clooney.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Marc Bohan, Former Dior Creative Director And Friend To The Stars, Dies At Age 97

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Marc Bohan, Dior’s longest-serving creative director, has died at the age of 97. Hollywood aristocrats such as Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor wore their thin silhouette designs.

After his predecessor, Yves Saint Laurent, was inducted into the French military in 1960, Bohan was selected to oversee the French label. From 1961 through 1989, he served as artistic director for the brand, delivering exquisite and subtle tailored outfits for the modern woman.

In 1961, he launched the “slim” look, a thin version of Dior’s iconic design with feminine shoulders and sensuously refined skirts, in his first couture collection for the house.

Bohan’s death was confirmed by Dior on Friday, who described him as an “immense visionary and passionate creator” who left his stamp on the fashion company.

“Marc Bohan was a unique creator dear to the heart of our House, infusing Dior elegance with his free spirit,” said Dior CEO Delphine Arnault. “A man of enormous talent who profoundly influenced both our history and fashion history.”

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Marc Bohan, Dior’s longest-serving creative director, has died at the age of 97.

The couturier became great friends with Princess Grace of Monaco while working at Dior; thus, her wardrobe paid respect to his work as the two shared the same idea of elegance and flair. Even outside his friendship network, Hollywood influenced Marc’s work: in 1966, he created a collection with fur trim and long coats inspired by “Doctor Zhivago.”

Although Marc tried to remain out of the spotlight — he was often described as modest and discreet – his ideas kept him there. Bohan was commissioned to design the magnificent coronation gown for Iran’s then-empress, Farah Diba Pahlavi, in 1967.

During his time at Dior, Marc expanded the brand’s offerings, from starting Dior’s baby shop to creating Miss Dior and Dior Monsieur lines for young ladies and men. He was also lauded for arranging Dior’s first Indian shows.

In 1989, Gianfranco Ferré took over the fashion house from Bohan. Marc left Dior and relocated to London, where he joined the illustrious house of Norman Hartnell, a couturier for the British royal family. His daughter is the only survivor.

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SOURCE – (AP)

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