RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Site Design By:
Blogs Gone Wild!

Powered by Blogger

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.


Dani said...

I'm surprised to see you didn't feature the new So In Style dolls. I think these were meant to look more like African Americans (I think Kwanza looks kinda Ethiopian). But the So In Style dolls still all have light eyes! In fact, I was looking at all my black dolls and realized they all have light eyes (amber, green, blue, gray)! And if Mattel thinks that Kara is what dark skinned girls look like then they need to take another look! I'm pretty sure Byron Lars had a dark skinned doll that was actually dark!

Vanessa said...

Actually, I've been putting off that post for awhile. I do plan to add my two cents to the controversy.

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.