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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kwanzaa Barbie

In 2006, Mattel produced Kwanzaa Barbie in recognition of the seven-day celebration developed to strengthen African-American values of family, community and culture. There's also an aspect of Kwanzaa that discourages commercialism and encourages educational gifts for children.

Initially, when I saw the Kwanzaa Barbie advertised, I was disappointed in the commercialization of the celebration. The doll was included in their Dolls of the World - Festivals of the World Collection so I understood their perspective.

I was also disappointed that the doll, although dressed in African-inspired attire, had way beyond shoulder-length wavy hair and gray eyes. I'm sure there's a black woman somewhere in the world that looks like that but for the most part, the doll reinforces a negative self-image in little black girls. She's a beautiful doll but the same hair with a shoulder-length cut and brown eyes would have been much better. This doll is no longer in production but is likely available on the secondary market.

NOTE: I do not represent all of these photos as my own; these are photos of Barbie and other dolls that I find to be fabulous! If you are the actual photographer and would like to be credited, send me an e-mail.