It seems as though every other week something has sparked outrage amongst black people. Friday, an image of a doll surfaced online, and people assumed it was a Barbie™ or possibly an idea for one.
This is not a Barbie™.
And will probably never be a Barbie™, but that didn’t stop people from sounding off about it.
An image of a brown Barbie doll has surfaced on the Internet, causing people to question whether or not it is supposed to be the next African-American Barbie. The doll is sporting blonde hair, gold chains, cleavage, and two bags that are strikingly similar to the Louis Vuitton monogram multicolor collection.
Many African-Americans find the doll’s appearance offensive, stating that it does not exude the true beauty of African-American women. The truth is, though, the doll strongly resembles imagery of African-American women that is seen in some of the most famous celebrities (e.g. Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, etc.). The only difference I see between Beyoncé, for example, and the doll is that the doll’s skin color is darker than Beyoncé’s. If we want to change the imagery of the African-American woman, we have to start exalting celebrities and other prominent figures in the black community that represent the imagery that we’d like people around the world to embrace.
The doll in question is actually a Fashion doll. A Fashion doll is a collectors item that you won’t find at your local Walmart. Adèle Makéda dolls are from the Jason Wu collection of Integrity Toys, and not from Mattel. I’m pretty sure there’s already a change.org petition out there, started by someone who probably assumes this doll is being made by Mattel.
“While Barbie maintains the highest profile worldwide among fashion dolls, not every fashion doll is a Barbie. I might also stress that while Mattel (the manufacturer of Barbie and her host of friends) creates dolls for children sold by toy retailers and through their own online website, every Barbie is not designed for child’s play. There are playline Barbies as well as several collectors editions.
For misinformed non-doll collectors and parents who often display a knee-jerk reaction to dolls designed for adults, please relax-relate-release. Just because you see a fashion doll that you think is a Barbie made for children that portrays an image that you deem inappropriate for a child, in most situations the doll was fashioned for adult collectors by a manufacturer or doll artist other than Mattel. There is no need to start a campaign against the doll or manufacturer or to create an otherwise pseudo-controversy, as in the case of the Django Unchained movie-memorabilia-action-figures-made-for-adults fiasco.”
Protest and complaining is good, but it’s always good to do your research first.
Once again, this is a $7.99 Barbie:
This is an Integrity Fashion doll, that’ll probably run you about $150:
Do you find the Fashion doll offensive?