It’s funny how the world sometimes reaches out to you. I’m not normally one to go around “looking for signs,” but sometimes you just can’t miss them.
Two months ago, I wrote about how brown dolls are not enough and we need more multicultural dolls.
This weekend, I came across an article titled Mattel introduces black Barbies. Introduces? It seemed odd since there have been black Barbies in the brand for a while. But, as the article’s opening line states, the So in Style dolls are “…a new line of black Barbie dolls with fuller lips, a wider nose and more pronounced cheek bones — a far cry from Christie, Barbie’s black friend who debuted in the 1960s and was essentially a white doll painted brown.”
Facial features. Going beyond just painting dolls brown. Finally!
The last connecting dot in all this is that the dolls’ designer, Stacey McBride-Irby, was just at the Blogalicious 2009 conference held this past weekend. So here I am on Monday, reading some of the conference recaps and the #blogalicious tweets and find myself circling back to the article I just read. And back to thinking about my baby girl and how she just might have a chance at seeing things differently growing up.
All of this on a day where part of the world celebrates and the other part watches Reconsider Columbus Day and nods their head in agreement.
It is encouraging to see that my baby girl will have dolls in her likeness to play with. And though I agree with the critique that the Barbie So in Style dolls have mostly long straight hair, I also see that there’s a huge improvement over the dolls I played with. Side note: two of the dolls do have short, curly hair, so I can see that it was given some thought. And my husband also pointed out just what the dolls’ designer had in mind – little girls love to comb their doll’s hair.
It is also encouraging to think that my daughter may not have to celebrate Columbus Day, but instead might have a chance at real education on the subject of Columbus and the history behind him “discovering” America. That is, in school, and not just supplemental education provided by my husband and I.
Most wouldn’t even connect these two. Dolls and Columbus day? But, the world calls out sometimes in a funny way and your mind connects the dots in an even more interesting manner.
So here I am. Feeling optimistic that my multicultural and bilingual daughter will be able to embrace both sides of her family, both cultures, and be loved by all as the Black and Latina woman she will become.
Watch these videos and consider the following questions:
- Why haven’t I seen any commercials for the dolls? The article was the first time I heard about them.
- Why haven’t I seen them in the stores? I was *just* in the Barbie aisle the other day at Target looking for a present for a birthday party we were attending Saturday. I do not remember seeing these dolls.
- Edited 10/13/09: Ok, I went into a Target again last night and did see a few of the dolls.
- What will I teach my child(ren) about Christopher Columbus?
Reconsider Columbus Day
Barbie So-In-Style Dolls Friends Of Barbie Meet The Designer Part One