Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Black Barbies Get it Half Right


Mattel just unveiled its newest collection of Barbies: the So in Style (S.I.S.) collection. Created by an African-American designer, the dolls are meant to be more culturally relevant to young multi-ethnic girls in their fashions, facial features and hairstyles with inspiring hobbies.
“I want them to be examples to real girls,” says Mattel designer Stacey McBride-Irby.
The dolls come in pairs with a big and little sister to encourage mentoring relationships. While we applaud the cute dolls - Grace and Courtney, Kara and Kiana and Trichelle and Janessa - most still look like a darker shade of Barbie. Only one of the three adult dolls, Kara, has natural hair, while the other two sport long, stick-straight ‘dos. And out of the three little sisters, only one has a textured style - Afro puffs - while the rest have straighter styles.
Hmmm, I don't know. The jury is still out on debate. If I had a daughter I might buy these, but where are all the other textures? However , one step in the right direction is still one step.

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