Sunday, October 24, 2010

Faux African American Barbie?

Before I start my rant, let me say I am a lifelong fan of Barbie.  When I was little, I wanted to be Barbie when I grew up.  Not the blond hair, but the boyfriend, convertible car, multiple careers, jet setting, and Malibu home.

When adults would tell me I would be a mother when I grew up, not a career woman, I'd point out how wrong they were, as evidenced by Barbie's life.  My mother, whose main dream for me involved being in a kitchen without shoes and chronically pregnant, was maddened by this.  Eventually she took away my Ken doll so I'd stop playing "career girl with boyfriend".  I just borrowed my neighbor's Planet of the Apes doll, which in some aspects prepared me for actual dating. 

Then there was Growing Up Skipper, Barbie's younger sister who would grow boobs when you cranked her arm.  My mother returned it to the store once she realized what the doll did.

Barbie's had more than her share of criticism if you ask me.  The folks who think she's a bad role model, she's too grown up for a young girl's toy, and her measurements are impossibly unrealistic.

But today I found something that's just a hot mess:  African American Blow Dryer Barbie.  I don't know what they're thinking over at Mattel.

You can check her out in all her glory here.

Notice anything odd?  As in, she's not African American?  Are we back in the 1920s when it was preferable to be light skinned?  Very disappointing, Mattel.

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