Wednesday, February 20
We Need to Stop Looking to Barbie to See Ourselves - New Black Barbie Stirs Controversy
Barbie has always stirred a lot of controversy - from creating unrealistic body ideals for children growing up to the addition of "diverse" Barbie dolls who's features weren't so diverse. Remember the first black Barbie that looked basically like a white Barbie painted brown? Well, there is a new black Barbie that may be hitting shelves and many womyn are not impressed with the look of it.
Sporting blond straight hair, a cleavage baring top and two monogrammed designer bags, many feel that it is representative of a stereotypical ideal. In my opinion, the doll does not actually look too different from plenty of the images of black womyn we see on the TV (from the Basketball wives to Nicki Minaj). On the one hand, I appreciate the efforts of trying to create diverse dolls so that little brown girls can play with dolls that look like them. Many of the new dolls have deeper skin and fuller lips.
But , has Barbie ever been representative of the majority of the population - white, brown or different? I think that we all know by now not to look to Barbie to see ourselves. Barbie has never represented true diversity. If I had a daughter, I would steer clear of Barbies completely and support local or smaller manufacturers who create beautiful black dolls with kinky hair, round noses and full lips. So that she knew that her unique features are beautiful too.
What do you all think, would you buy any of the new ethnic Barbies that have been introduced on the market for your daughters?