20, 2000 january
- By Andrew Downie Special towards the Christian Science Track
For 40 years, Barbie has captivated girls across the world together with her blend that is all-American of appearance, fancy garments, and “I am able to do just about anything” ethos.
But right right here in Brazil, the blonde symbol is dealing with an unprecedented challenge through the brand brand brand new woman in city. Susi, together with her trim waistline, little upper body, wide legs, and darker epidermis, has become every Brazilian woman’s closest friend.
Since she first swung her hips that are increasingly famous Brazilian model shops 3 years ago, yearly product sales have actually tripled to 1.5 million. At Christmas time, Susi also outsold Barbie when it comes to very first time.
For a few, her success is a validation of “Brazilianness.” Even while south usa’s many nation that is multicultural swamped by US imports and pictures in film, tv, and marketing, Brazil is developing an excellent respect for it self.
Neighborhood musicians now outsell international performers, the movie industry is prospering, and after several years of being led to think otherwise, Brazilians are arriving to simply accept that the blondes that are slender take over tv activity listed here are no a lot better than the shapely homegrown women with darker epidermis and locks.
It is a crucial understanding for a country where 44 % for the populace is black or mixed-race.
“Susi is prosperous because she resonates with Brazilian girls,” claims Aries Fernandes, marketing manager for Estrela, the organization that designs and creates Susi.
“she’s a human body like them and all sorts of the themes and garments are particularly Brazilian. Within the doll market every thing originates from Asia, especially Asia, so loses its neighborhood characteristics. We wished to produce one thing the kids that are local relate solely to,” he claims.
At first, Susi and Barbie are not too various. Both have actually impossibly long locks and clear blue eyes. But Susi’s face is more circular than Barbie’s and her lips is rounder. Her eyelashes are much much longer and her skin is slightly darker.
Your body language, nonetheless, states all of it. Both have waistlines measuring four inches, the willowy Barbie has defied time to maintain her legendary hourglass figure and slim hips although the two dolls.
Susi, meanwhile, has an even more bust that is modest a couple of legs calculating an astonishing half-inch a lot more than her US rival.
“We desired Susi to be much more Latin, more voluptuous,” describes Mr. Fernandes. “We Latins appreciate those is tinder worth it attributes.”
Those characteristics have actually shown a success that is great Brazil. Within the 1999 pre-Christmas season, five Susis had been offered for each and every two Barbies, in accordance with Synesio Batista da Costa, president regarding the Brazilian Association of Toy providers.
Regional supervisors at Mattel, the California-based company that owns Barbie, declined to fairly share product sales numbers.
In a country where 37 per cent associated with the $430 million per year doll product product sales are dolls, the prosperity of Susi and Barbie is a must to organizations such as for example Estrela, Brazil’s biggest toymaker.
Susi’s success has turned her as a poster woman for the ongoing business, and staff there work tirelessly at making certain she’s got the clothes therefore the mindset of Brazilian youths.
Like any self-respecting Brazilian female, Susi really really loves the life that is outdoor has an accumulation skimpy bikinis to put on to your coastline. And like most of the nation’s girls, she eschews formal clothing in benefit more casual use, within the latest youth fashions. She wants to consume fast-food – “cool meal Susi” is certainly one of the largest vendors. She wears small makeup but recreations a tattoo.
In the summertime, if the nation’s beaches are loaded, the ongoing company releases dolls with a somewhat darker epidermis to simulate a tan.
In 1998, with all the national nation overtaken by World Cup fever, Susi arrived displaying a Brazil soccer top.
Estrela professionals state such realistic touches decrease well in Brazil, because girls here want dolls that demonstrate them because they are, not as they wish to be.
That, they do say, is just why a few of the best-selling Susi dolls are Susi playing at being a veterinarian and Susi playing at being instructor, maybe perhaps not really being truly a veterinarian or becoming an instructor.
The strategy is in comparison to that particular of Mattel, which promotes Barbie globally for instance for girls to desire to, with professions such as for instance flight pilot, astronaut, physician, Olympic gymnast, professional baseball player, and yes, veterinarian and instructor, to call a tremendously few. Barbie is a task model, claims Ana Paula Laranjeira, senior brand name supervisor at Mattel do Brasil, the business’s nationwide subsidiary.
“Her strongest point is she actually is aspirational,” Ms. Laranjeira says. “Barbie is a picture that is desired by all young girls. Whenever kids fool around with Barbie they feel they could get places and do things.”
Susi views life through the eyes of the carefree girl that is young thinking about festas (in Portuguese-speaking Brazil, a celebration) than Ferraris, relating to Fernandes.
“I would personallyn’t quite state Susi is really a hedonist, but she loves to enjoy by herself, and also you will not see her worrying all about getting the latest vehicle or perhaps the proper label,” he states.
“She has items that show she takes pleasure in life, maybe not items that show status. The intention is she’s got things associated with a Latin life, such things as events, dance, and achieving a great time.”
Having enjoyed 36 months of good times in Brazil, Estrela thinks Susi can beguile model purchasers somewhere else in Latin America too.
This woman is set to head into the toy stores of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay the following year. If that goes well, she shall accept Barbie on the house turf.
The business has recently talked having a major united states string about the chance of bringing Susi north. With very nearly 16 million Latinas living in the usa, there was a need for females like her, Fernandes states.
He appears over a batch of Susi dolls and smiles during the possibility.
“Wouldn’t it is great?”
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society