McDonald’s has had an interesting few years. Although the company recently ditched the dreaded “pink slime” from its burgers, they’ve come under fire in the past for encouraging unhealthy eating habits in children and contributing to America’s growing obesity epidemic. The company, who’s tagline was once “I’m Lovin’ It,” was also criticized for it’s minority marketing campaigns which often saw blacks and latinos singing, dancing, and rapping about Micky D’s menu. Although they’ve seemed to back away from ads depicting stereotypical behavior, a new Happy Meal promotion has some wondering why the company still doesn’t get it.

On Tuesday, the site Racialicious shared a photo (via film critic Kartina Richardson) of McDonald’s latest kid’s meal promotion. The company has partnered with Mattel and is giving away Barbie dolls with its meals. It seems harmless, until you take a look at the ad.

Is this McDonalds ad racist?

The sign shows a brown-skinned girl dreaming to be like extremely blonde, blue-eyed, white Barbies dolls, and although Mattel has a slew of  brown dolls, not one of them appears in the ad.

On its face, the sign is problematic on some many levels. Not only does it reenforce the idea that white women are the ideal, but it also plays into the notion that deep down, all brown girls really want to be white.

Although McDonald’s may not have considered the connotations its advertisement brought up, it’s hard to believe not ONE person on the marketing team saw anything wrong with the promotion before it was shipped to stores.

But what do you think of the ad? Have you seen it a McDonald’s near you? 

  • Isis

    She looks mixed to me. She probably has a white mother. Nothing wrong with wanting to look like ur mom. Halle said in an interview once she wanted to blonde haired like her mother. Now if the little girl was black I would say its a hot mess but mixed race ppl can choose their white side

  • kidole

    I think the ad is racially exclusive and insensitive but not necessarily racist.

  • Isis

    Waits for the one droppers to tell me this little girl is as black as KeKe Palmer. *sigh*

  • Appletree

    I was getting ready to leave this same exact comment

  • http://www.twitter.com/xeyxey xey

    Uh oh… check that second link about blacks and latinos “raping” about McDonald’s.

    But, I agree with kidole that the ad is insensitive and poorly thought-out, maybe, but not necessarily racist.

  • 2cents

    I’m sorry, but I think this is another case of seeing racism where it doesn’t exist. I wouldn’t have thought anything of this ad, if it wasn’t pointed out as being “problematic”. She’s a blue-eyed girl with light brown hair who’s dreaming of being a fashion designer, mom, or veterinarian–not white.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com/ African Mami

    eh, Brit my dear…1st paragraph, 4th sentence. We ain’t “raping”, We “rapping” If black people are raping food my dear, then it is time Jesus and his cast-my favorite Angel Michael and his subordinate Gabriel blew the horn to signify his second ascent.

    My thoughts: Could give a hoot. I don’t support McD with my dollars.

  • http://www.clutchmagazine.com Clutch

    African Mami, you ALWAYS manage to make me lmao, literally!

    thanks!

    ~britni

  • gmarie

    ….but she has blonde hair and blue eyes. *shrug* she looks more like barbie than she does christie to me *shrug* idk. Honestly I didnt even see it that way. I saw a girl dreaming she could be like barbie (a doctor, a mother, a fashion stylist , etc.)

  • LemonNLime

    “Waits for the one droppers to tell me this little girl is as black as KeKe Palmer. *sigh*”

    Agreed.

  • Natalie B.

    When I first saw this on Racialicous yesterday my first thought was,” oh, ish!”

    I’m still amazed at how NO ONE thought this might be offensive and insensitive.

  • M12Casey

    I understand how this can appear racist but I really doubt that that was their intention or that this even occurred to them. I think they mean that the girl is dreaming of doing what Barbie is doing, not being white.

    Although the girl is brown, Barbie herself is white. Unless they are giving away Barbie’s black friend Christie too (which they should be but probably aren’t), it wouldn’t make sense to put a black Barbie in the ad. I think they thought that putting a biracial girl in the ad would appeal to wider audience because a white girl in the ad wouldn’t include an image of a person of color at all.

  • AOA

    +1

  • The Black Police

    No

  • The Black Police

    Blacks, stop it!

    OMG, y’all black people (and corresponding “white allies”) are at it again. No! It is not racist. The point of the ad is to promote the idea that she can be anything she wants. She can be a vet, a mom, a fashion designer… in short, anything. It’s not saying she wants to be white. Why do you people jump to racist conclusions? Race hypersensitivity is all I see.

    Sure they could have made the cartoon girls black but guess what: Barbie is NOT black. And that should be fine. If the little girl was white and brunette would we be analyzing it saying they want her to dream to be blonde? NO.

    And what is so wrong with black people singing, dancing and rapping? I like to sing. I know black people who like to dance and rap. We want to claim “soul” from Adele but can’t admit that some black people love these activities?

    They should have just skipped all this drama and used a white child model.

  • JaeBee

    I think it would have been nice if Barbie matched the girl’s skin tone…almost like imagining that if she grew up she could be all those things.

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    Yes, I agree the ad is bad. It obviously looks like the girl wants to be a blonde Barbie. But I notice the Barbies are doing different things and the message is about growing up to do whatever you dream of. But I wonder, if it was a blonde girl dreaming of being… Black singers for instance (e.g., Beyonce, Whitney, Rihanna) then would people say she was dreaming of being Black? I think people would assume she wanted to be a singer because no one expects a White girl to want to be Black. But people (even pro-Black people) think Black girls want to be White. That is sad.

    We come from the standpoint that we have to teach our kids to be confident to combat negative views of Black people. White people are not taught that because it is assumed that they will not lack confidence just because of race. Sad.

  • londongirl

    totally agree.if i had seen this in the street, i wold assume that it was a little girl dreaming to be different professions, like her barbie. we should spend a little less time thinking about a macdonald poster and more time thinking of ways we can increase the quality of schools in our communities and reducing the liquor stores. until such things have been solved, macdonalds is not a priority.

  • Ms. Information

    When I see a white little girl dreaming to be Princess Tiana, then I’ll be convinced. Until then, McDonald’s hire some smart advertising agencies please.

  • binks

    +2 I think it would have been much better if they showed barbie AND her friends in the different careers

  • Beautiful Mic

    The little girl could, just, be thinking about her cousin(s), her momma, her aunt(s) and/or her grandma (when she was young).

  • jackieM

    agreed

  • iQgraphics

    When black folk start to realize that they are the exception and not the rule, the happier they’ll be. We are exceptional. Love it.
    When folks in general understand that it’s their responsibility to reinforce self worth and love to their own children, the happier they’ll be.

  • gmarie

    amazing how people are still missing the point that this is a BARBIE X McDonalds collaboration. Yes barbie has “friends” of other ethnicities, but they do not represent the face of the corporation because their names are not barbie. Mc Donlads is advertising a joint venture with barbie, how would people know that if a character who was not barbie was on the poster?

  • MySister’sKeeper

    I think your argument actually reinforces the problem with this picture. Do half caucasian children only dream of their white side? I doubt this little girl was asked what she identifies with. And if she had said black, they would have put out the same ad. So I guess it is equally dangerous to look at this advertisement and say, “well she is mixed, she probably favors her white side.”

  • Georgia

    You know, there are black Barbie products–if you look at Mattel’s website, “Barbie” is a category of toy that includes other dolls, so they certainly could have used different images in the ad.

    And since when are very fair skinned African Americans automatically mixed race? My sister is fairer than this child, and our parents and both sets of grandparents were African American. Assuming that is no different than assuming so-called “1-drop” folks are going to call anyone with pigmentation “black.”

  • df

    it’s just that deep societal ingraining of blonde/white being the ideal showing in little ways….it doesn’t even matter if she’s black, white, mixed…etc…the pushed ideal is still the same… and the brainwashing continues…

    it’s good that people are taking notice though, now it would be nice if people didn’t make EXCUSES for things like this…

  • rhirhi-hater

    agreed

  • df

    *meant to say it wouldn’t matter if she was black white..etc

  • df

    great job making excuses for the corporations…you must really think people and little girls are exceptional idiots not to still connect the dots with a nonblonde/white doll and the barbie empire when the word BARBIE BARBIE BARBIE is plastered everywhere…get outta here…

  • df

    THIS.

  • df

    You enjoying living in a fantasy vacuum? If you don’t get the point that the marketers/advertisers probably didn’t give any thought to this because WHITE is always the DEFAULT and the ideal in the western world then well…In my eyes, the people making excuses are more infuriating than the people that do all this without thinking. It’s pointed out but yet excuses come flying…some things never change….

  • Isis

    I dont see a problem with the pic. If my mom is white and I love my mom whats wrong with wanting to be like her? Who cares who favors what side. I can want to be like my mom whether she’s white or not.

  • CaliDreaming86

    I agree with My Sisters Keeper.

    I am also interested in why it is assumed that the child’s mother is White.

  • T. Dang

    The ad isn’t racist. It is thoughtless, but also not surprising. I’m sure some marketing exec thought, “great! we’ll put a pretty mixed race girl in the ad and we’ll be covered.” These are the same marketing folks that think brown skinned people will like McDonalds food more if we see brown skinned people shucking and jiving. I still cringe at the thought of those awful “share my mcnuggets – R. Kelly style” melodrama commercials from a couple of years ago. I do take issue with the idea that there were brown dolls included in the giveaway. Usually, brown dolls are very limited in number and isolated to areas where McDonalds believes demand is higher. For my two brown daughters, living in MN means we get white only.

  • CaliDreaming86

    I don’t think the ad is racist, just culturally insensitive.

  • Zaza

    Um…something about this comment doesn’t sound right.

    1. ‘Blacks stop it!’
    Black PEOPLE, We’re not a homogeonous mass of ‘Blacks’ we are people,
    and ‘stop’ what?, what did we ALL do? We’re individuals with our own actions and opinions.

    2.’Why do you people jump to racist conclusions?’,
    Hmm.. ‘you people’, I know who usually says that…funny, you’re complaining about black people crying racism whilst sounding like a racist yourself.

    3. ‘guess what: Barbie is NOT black’.
    Ooh I guess that’s us told! Yes original Barbie is white but there are a lot of barbie friend dolls of different ethnicities, it wouldn’t have killed them to make one of the three dolls a black or asian barbie.

    4. ‘And what is so wrong with black people singing, dancing and rapping?’
    Lol what? You don’t get it do you? *shakes head* . There’s nothing wrong with black people ‘singing, dancing and rapping’.
    The problem is when there’s the stereotype that it’s all there is to black people and we can’t be other things; e.g academic, professionals, scientific etc., have you really never heard of this or are you just being facetious?

    5. Your name ‘Black Police’ What???

    Overall you come across as one of those white people that likes to shut down any mention of racism because they don’t want to be reminded it exists, because they don’t want to feel guilty. Sorry, it does, and we can discuss it if we want.

    And anyway, in your misguided generalizing comments you seem to have completely disregarded that the majority of commenters above you agree that to call this Barbie ad racist is an overreaction, rather it’s insensitive/racially exclusive.
    Sadly you were too busy rushing to type that all black people need to stop crying racism or whatever, to notice this.

  • binks

    By the logo barbie on the side of the poster…

  • Isis

    Ok I will humor you two since I’m bored. Most black/white relationships consist of a black man and white woman. You didn’t know that already?? Also, in my initial comment I said her mother is PROBABLY white. *sigh*

  • Isis

    Thank you!!!!!!

  • iQgraphics

    @Zaza
    I don’t know if you meant that to be funny, but it made me chuckle

    “you people”

    yeah

    WOW

  • E.M.S.

    I’m really astounded that major companies like McDonald’s haven’t figured out a little thing called “diversity” quite yet. The media is still perpetuating white superiority. They do just enough to stay out of trouble most of the time, but then you have things like this.

    I look forward to the day when I can see an ad that’s tailored to all ethnicities, not just skinny white people with blonde hair and blue eyes.

    Makes me thankful my parents always made sure whatever toys I had, (though I owned very few dolls because I didn’t really like them) they acknowledge that I wasn’t white.

  • Whatever

    @Isis

    I’m guessing you’re playing devils advocate…

    This child could be black, she could be 1/4 white, she could be latina for all we know. Since they have barbies with her skin tone and hair color, they could have easily used a barbie that looked exactly like HER. They chose not to.

  • Whatever

    What makes it racist is the fact that they would NEVER put out an ad with a white girl with blonde hair and blue eyes dreaming about 3 black barbies… #foodforthought

  • Isis

    Black ppl dont have blonde hair and blue eyes

  • Whatever

    THANK YOU!!

  • The Black Police

    Point is: not every single thing is racist and I’m tired of people always insinuating that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the ad. It features Barbie and a child dreaming of possibilities.

  • The Black Police

    If you see a poster of a white child dreaming of becoming like Michael Jordan you will still complain that a black child wasn’t used.

  • Tonton Michel

    Sufficiently mixed people must be a safe bet for advertisers. Not sure what they are but you can see enough in you in them to relate. Hell there might not be a lick of black in the kid, she could be anything. Enough to pay attention but not enough to offended.

  • Whatever

    As someone who works in marketing, these things are ALWAYS intentional (I’ve said this on this site before). For this ad to be produced it went through an intricate system between Mcdonalds and Mattel (the clients), The account executives (the suits), and the art directors (the creatives). This process takes weeks and sometimes months. Every detail is carefully planned before execution. I’m sure this girl was chosen because she is race X. Could be black, could be Latina, could be mixed with white… could be all of the above. After all blacks and latinos must be included as well (see rapping ad).

    Anyway, I’m sure this issue came up at some point during the process. Maybe they used focus groups and people shared the mindset of some of you… “she’s dreaming about future career choices.”… shrug… who knows. Could they have used a barbie that looked exactly like the child (especially since barbie in the ad is illustrated) Of course. Would they have used a white child and black barbie scenario? Hells No. I’m sure Mattel had more say in this ad than Mcdonalds did.

  • Bunny

    @ Whatever: Ooooohhh…good point! +1

  • CaliDreaming86

    Isis, you don’t need to humor me.

    I agree with Whatever. This child could be Hispanic or even a biracial Hispanic. Heck, she could even be multiracial.

    It may not be often that Black people have blue eyes, but some of us do have Blonde hair. For me, in the summer time, the sunlight lightens my hair to a brownish – blonde and I have known Black people with dark, golden Blonde hair.

  • Jess

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of the “I can be…” dolls in a skin tone other than white. So really, McD’s is properly representing the ICB line, which isn’t diverse in the first place.

    I was so excited when they were making ICB Computer Engineer Barbie… until I found out she didn’t come in any race that wasn’t white. Yeah, I know, we’re rare, but at least give me the damn doll… :(

  • http://youtu.be/WWA9kQ6oeMA natural.is.me

    Like I always say, anything in marketing/advertising is done for a reason.

    They could have had 3 barbies in 3 different tones or be brave and have a white girl dreaming to be like 3 black barbies but there’s a reason that this particular ad is the way it is.

    I pity the fool who looks at this and sees nothing wrong. I have witnessed first hand the destruction ads like this have on black girls. I watch my cousin who despises anything not caramel shade and above. Or girls who come to the youth centre where i work and will worship anything a light skinned woman says and in the same breath a darker skinned woman shared her truth and to them it was bull. But things like this ad have no assistance in the destruction of our views, correct?

  • Ms. Information

    “Black Police” is most certainly a white person or a self-hating black person…let me explain why. White people are the MAJORITY, so a little white boy dreaming to be Michael Jordan would not have the same effect. A little black girl is BOMBARDED with images of white women on a regular basis (just like we all are). A child’s mind (if not molded by an adult) will automatically associate beauty with what they are shown. They then compare themselves to that image and understand that they have nothing in common with these false images.

  • AustralianGirl

    I agree. Hitler would be proud of this ad.

  • http://www.rockonmommies.com/rachael Rachael

    After reading the article and I can see the author’s point but I’d also like to play ‘devil’s advocate’ for a minute. How about looking at the ad and seeing Barbie pictured as the ‘classic’ in that this is how Barbie started out and is the most identifiable as “Barbie” and then they have a BEAUTIFUL little girl dreaming of being a Fashion Designer, Veterinarian, or a School Teacher….

  • isolde

    “How about looking at the ad and seeing Barbie pictured as the ‘classic’ in that this is how Barbie started out and is the most identifiable as “Barbie”

    @Rachael

    Yeah, cuz if they had made even just one of the Barbie’s black, people wouldn’t have identified it as Barbie. They would’ve thought it was Nicki Minaj.

  • Jess

    The girl is obviously heavily of Black descent, and the ad is blatantly, ridiculously, typically racist.

    Signed,
    The other Jess

  • Jess

    I saw an ad today that said “In 2012, WHITE is the color of love” for Verizon Droid, or something. So blatantly ridiculous.

  • isolde

    Unless they are giving away Barbie’s black friend Christie too (which they should be but probably aren’t), it wouldn’t make sense to put a black Barbie in the ad.

    @M12

    Oh, it is racist, but you’re right about this. Those three dolls are the dolls that are probably being distributed in the Happy Meals. Mattel isn’t making any black ones for this promotion.

    McDonald’s is notorious for the racist/sexist merchandizing. Artemis and Miss Martian were noticeably absent from the Young Justice Happy Meal promo. Female comic book characters are always getting the shaft.

  • Tonton Michel

    GTHOH there is nothing obvious about her racial decent.

  • Rakel

    I’ve been through w/McDonald’s for years but that’s a diff story. I don’t think there was malicious intent to the ad. I think the intent was more along the lines that little girls can be anything. But I can’t believe the marketing dept missed this. They pbly thought a racially ambiguous little girl would cover them. The problem I have is about minority little girls who will see this and take it as “white is only right”. Media is so influential yet so irresponsible and young kids get caught in it. Communities have a responsiblty to teach self love.

  • isolde

    To all the people saying and insinuating that the girl in the ad sees no color and is just dreaming of being one of the professionals that Barbie is role playing in the ads, I want you to take a look at the little girl sitting in “Teacher Barbie’s” lap. Apparently, based on the ad, our little, brown dreamer not only envisions herself growing up to be blonde, whiteTeacher Barbie, but she dreams of teaching blonde, white Barbie look-alikes as well.

    Somebody thought that they were being “progressive” by letting what most would assume is a mixed race, black girl be the featured chick, and in a twisted way it is. I remember reading an article in one of my cousins old YM magazines about how one of Tiffany Amber Thiessen’s (Kelly Kapowski from Saved By the Bell) first gigs was in a Barbie commercial, and Thiessen wasn’t allowed to hold the Barbie doll in the tv spot because she wasn’t blonde. So, for a presumably non-white, girl with brown hair to be the featured girl advertising blonde, white Barbie in all her glory (sniffle, sniffle . . . I need a moment). Got Damnit, we have overcome! (sarcasm, btw)

  • JaeBee

    “I still cringe at the thought of those awful “share my mcnuggets – R. Kelly style” melodrama commercials from a couple of years ago.”

    Lol. Let’s not forget the fairly recent ‘Mango Pineapple Smoothie rap concert’ commercial. I HATED McDonald’s for that one!

  • apple

    they shouldn’t include black people in advertisment period because theyll never get it right so just stop

  • AustralianGirl

    she’s clearly got SOME african heritage in her, no other race has those tight little curls. Plus the skin tone. Why else would Clutch run this article, if the girl wasn’t of african heritage?

    I think she’s gorgeous by the way :-)

  • Tonton Michel

    First of all you can find people with curly hair of non African descent, second for all you know the hair was treated with something, third the whole planet has SOME African heritage to it but that does not make it a black planet. And the skin tone can just as easily be a tan or a product of another racial background. All that does not matter though,the point is that as easily as you laid claim to her because of her vague features some other person of a non African background is seeing something of themselves in her too. Thats a win for Micky D’s.

  • AustralianGirl

    I agree that “as easily as you laid claim to her because of her vague features some other person of a non African background is seeing something of themselves in her too. Thats a win for Micky D’s.”

    However, that curl pattern is unmistakeably african…. my sister looks alot like her (except with green eyes), exact same curl pattern, same skin tone, and we were born in Africa. Mixed – yes, and within that mix is african.

    However, fair enough if you can’t see the african in her, we all have different perspectives.

  • http://www.cousineauconsultinggroup.com J Cousineau

    McDonald’s Faces Canadian Lawsuit over Sex Assault by Employee and Her Husband
    McDonald’s Faces Canada Lawsuit over Sex Assault by Employee and Her Husband who used her position at McDonald’s to befriend young biys. She would then get them to her apartment for her & her husband to sexually assault them after getting them drunk and then feeding them drugs and then sexually assaulting them.
    The case is filed in the BC Supreme Court in Vancouver, Brtish Columbia Case Number S-114420 and alleges Mc Donald’s was vicariously responsible as the employee wa working in the restaurant to get boys. Further that they failed to assist the victim when requested until the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were investigating but still refused to deal with the one victim who has come forward so far. At least one other victim has been identified to the RCMP.
    The file is available through searching the British Columbia Supreme Courts website.
    The following is the last letter to McDonald’s regarding an offer to talk about it and find a resolution to the victim and to ensure they now have policies to prevent it from happening again as this is a historic case from te early 1980′s.
    Start of letter:
    February 02, 2012
    McDonald’s Restaurants Canada & McDonald’s Corporation
    VIA FAX Canada (604) 293-4885 & (416) 446-3429 & (416) 446-3443
    VIA FAX US Corporate Headquarters (630) 623-5004 & (630) 623-5658
    I am sending you an offer to deal with the case as the matter have been filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in dealing with the use of drugs and alcohol by your employee in the commission of your employee and her husband sexually assaulting myself and my friend as young teens. She used her position at McDonald’s to befriend young boys and gain trust and give them free McDonald’s merchandise and then got them to go to her home where she pressured us into consuming alcohol and then drugs before her and her husband sexually assaulted us.
    As you had failed to assist in anyway in dealing with the matter until the RCMP investigation and have ignored the issue with me once the RCMP was done with your offices, I felt it was necessary to file a civil case in order to get you to deal with this issue. I could have gone to the media but am still hopeful you will deal with this issue and ensure that steps are in place to ensure that all steps are taken to protect children in the future. These people used the McDonald’s brand to gain access and trust to boys and do what they did. McDonald’s was vicariously liable in my opinion as they promoted the restaurants as child friendly, safe places at that time and focused the advertising and marketing strategies at children facilitating an environment of false trust and safety that resulted in these actions which had a dramatic effect on my life ever since.
    Your staff at the Burnaby Corporate Office has seen no need to speak with me after requests had been sent, so further action is being taken. I am open to speaking with your representative to find resolve to this serious matter and avoid a public trial which would have negative effects on both sides.
    If you wish to discuss options, I can be contacted at (778) 908-2811 and email [email protected]. My mailing address is unavailable to news Street, Surrey BC Canada.
    If no response is received within 14 days of this fax, I will assume there is no interest in a resolution and will proceed with the matter in the courts. BC Supreme Court File VLC-S-S-114420, Vancouver Law Courts 800 Smithe Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 6L8
    Sincerely,
    Name Blocked For Protection of identity.
    End of letter

  • Amy

    +1

  • Amy

    Yes, black girls are bombarded with images that tell them what beauty is. But it’s up to us to set new standards for them. After acknowledging the problem, we should take action. That means telling our daughters, little sisters, nieces, etc. that they’re beautiful. And I know a lot of us are doing that. But we have to keep doing it. And that also means not supporting the tv shows that portray us in a negative way.

  • chanela

    this has to be a joke right? are people serious???? damn black folks whine about EVERYTHING!!! what next? protesting the “white christmas” song? getting offended that vanilla ice cream is white? STFU!

    meanwhile the same people calling this insensitive and ignorant are the same ones who stay watching crap like basketball wives or RHOA. SMH protest that bullshit!

  • AustralianGirl

    why don’t they have black icecream? racists

  • Tonton Michel

    Damn right! If they can bleach rice they can make black ice cream!

  • AustralianGirl

    lol. Black African icecream.

  • fuchsia

    I know what we are supposed to find wrong with the ad, but I really don’t care to over analyze the race issue when it comes to Barbie. Micky D’s is POP culture food. Most black girls that play with dolls play with white Barbie, no matter how forward thinking and progressive Black mothers are this has not fully changed yet. It is a sad reality. I was one of those girls. I always saw Barbie as a character with many outfits, occupations and talents. Yet I never grew up dreaming to be white, only successful. My parents were my examples and they taught me to see people for who they are not what they look like even though I would be judged by the color of my own skin. The ad is normal, maybe that is the only problem.

  • http://design-cupboard.blogspot.com Erika

    I think the point is, regarless of her true ethnic heritage, she’s obviously a child of color. Whether or not she is “BLACK” really doesn’t matter in this situation. She’s a brown skinned child being depicted as dreaming about a blonde haired, blue eyed “ideal”.

  • Marci

    Yes. It would have been better if they just used a white model. This ad is insensitive. I don’t care what anyone says.

  • Blasé

    oh dear… if only little brown babies weren’t so brainwashed it wouldn’t hurt so much. unfortunately, blue-eyed skinny princesses are what our babies are told they have to aspire to.

  • EbonyLolita

    Sigh…..

  • Chnyere

    Micheal u r completely right, this girl has the same color eyes as the barbies

  • Sasha

    I don’t care how you try to excuse this. People say ‘black people complain about everything’ well YES there tends to be a great amount of social/political issues that we NEED to speak up about.
    People need to take into account that EVERYTHING is marketing is discussed, debated and not done by chance. This was published after a slew of meetings and edits. McDonalds is a massive corporation, TRUST they went over what this ad meant. The “I can be”?? Really? To try and say this child’s features are vague is b.s. She’s CLEARLY NOT WHITE. Even if she’s mixed we can CLEARLY see she’s not completely Caucasian. And with that said WHY would you put the words ‘I can be’ next to a grouping of white, blonde, blue eyed barbies. It doesn’t matter if the majority of black girls have white barbies- the fact that a brown, black barbie is made means it was available to be used for the ad.
    And if little girls weren’t aware there existed a diverse group of Barbies, they wouldn’t known had they been used.
    All in all this ad is disrespectful. It doesn’t encourage young people to be themselves. A CHILD is most likely not going to think “Doctor, school teacher, vetenarian” before they think ‘PRETTY’ when seeing this ad. And that immediately connects with that childs notion of self-confidence.

    Bring reality shows into the discussion isn’t a factor because that’s not the context here, and TRUST people do complain about those shows too.

    I appreciate the presence of McDonald’s in our communities because they offer employment to people who may otherwise struggle financially, but I cannot be silent while they basically use us to promote business and damaging stereotypes.

  • Seriously?

    There are darker skinned “i can be” barbies. They could have easily used a mix in the girl’s dream bubble so this wouldn’t be an issue. It may not be intentional, but it is insensitive and full of racism.

  • KeepingItReal

    I actually as bad as it seems do not blame McDonalds. What is actually to be thought about is when you think “barbie” do you think of a black lady? No you think Blond, skinny, pink. Even a young girl other than white thinks the same. Now in ones mind, they must have thought it would apply to both races. Yet came across as “racist”. Who is really to blame? McDonalds for obesity, but Barbie companies for coming up with this unrealistic figure. Which should be false advertisement do to the fact of weight gain VS barbies body portions. What you as parents should be more worried about other than “race” is how to protect your children from the negative affects of barbie and this food.

  • http://facebook.com/misscararose carolyn

    if they were smart they would have made it 3 lil girls of different decent, all hugging, thinking about barbie. shows companionship between races and shows diversity. someone cut me a check smh

  • theflagrant1

    I asked my 8-yr-old daughter what she thought of this ad. First, she said, “The girl probably cleaned her room and she’s dreaming of what her prize will be.” She assumed they were giving out dolls! I asked her to look harder and she said, “Oh, I get it, that little girl wants to be a vet or a clothing designer!” I asked her how the picture made her feel. She told me it makes her want to be a fashion designer or a babysitter. I asked her why and she replied, “Because they’re both great things that make people happy, and I’ll get a lot of money to do that.” I said, “You want a lot of money?” She said, “I want to make people happy. If I get a lot of money to that, I’m okay with it.”

    If that’s all my child sees, its probably all most children see. I don’t like it, but I’m not the target audience. I hate to admit this, but the ad does a good job. If it doesn’t, then that means I’m just a spectacular parent! Either way, I can’t knock it.

  • Zero

    I usual see these links and really think people are just over analyzing it, but this ad actually is risque and sending some messages that may mess with young girl’s self esteem. To the people black people who say she doesn’t look black- we come in so many shades, shapes, and looks it’s kind of ridiculous for you not to realize that girl is black. 2 black people can have a fair skinned child, but it does not work the other way around- many non us blacks have blue eyes or blonde hair as well- this child is black and this ad is wack.

    - a black guy who also looks non black

  • princess

    I feel that this ad is intentional and used to stir up controversy. Most corporations do this when doing subliminal messages. This is a disgrace and very sad but it is to be expected b/c they have nothing to lose so they think why not use a little “mixed girl” dreaming of what her life “could” be like! I mean come on lets be honest here if they wouldve used a darker skinned girl then that wouldve been a little to noticeable to the eye am i right? So they did what most big businesses do instead of using a darker skin person in a subliminal message use someone mixed b/c thats the next closes thing to black. One last thing when u see clothing ad’s like The childrens Place,or Gap what’s the one race u see and if its a black kid model what is there skin tone??

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