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Vogue Italia: Black Barbie

Let's have a little fun!


We'll let Vogue do the talking on this one:

Barbie has scored a starring role in Vogue Italia's most iconic edition; the Black Issue, as the magazine styles the iconic doll in a collector's supplement. In July 2008, Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, conceived the first Black Issue, starring models including Iman, Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede, Sessilee Lopez and Jourdan Dunn - with the intention of sending a message to the fashion world about the importance of diversity in fashion.

"Barbie has been an icon for whole generations which is why I really wanted to give a strong sign in step with the times, and dedicate the anniversary issue to Black Barbie," Sozzani said.


The first black doll from Barbie was introduced in 1967, as a friend of Barbie called Francie, followed by the first "Black Barbie" doll, introduced in 1980. The trend continues this autumn with the launch of a collection of black Barbie dolls, called the So In Style dolls; which have been designed with more authentic-looking black features, including a new facial sculpt that has fuller lips, a wider nose, more distinctive cheek bones and curlier hair.

"Barbie has been a mirror of the times for 50 years and continues to reflect the trends and interests of the day," Richard Dickson, senior vice president of Barbie said."


We've said it before and we'll say it again: it's good that Vogue wants to recognize the presence and importance of black people in the fashion industry, but it's depressingly retrograde that they even have to publish something called "The Black Issue" at all.

Now, this may surprise some of you, but we have never been little black girls, so we can't really offer a knowledgeable opinion about whether the new black Barbies are a good thing. From our position of ignorance and privilege, it certainly seems so to us. What little knowledge we have of previous black Barbies is that they looked like white Barbies dipped in chocolate. It's a good thing that not only do the new models have ethnically appropriate features, but (and this is where we really think they got it right) they come in a range of skin tones. Little black girls - wait, let's amend that - ALL little girls should not grow up thinking that "pretty" means "blonde and white" only.

The pictures are fun (we especially like the Diana Ross-esque one) but not to get all politically correct or anything, didn't anyone in Vogue's offices question whether a feature on black Barbies should feature so much lingerie and fetish-wear? It's always been something of an issue that black people are too often depicted as overly sexualized in the media; exotic creatures just dripping with sexuality and jungle fever. They should have stuck with the more fashion-inspired looks. Still, it's a fun and glamorous piece and their intentions are good.







[Photos: vogue.co.uk]

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74 comments:

Agreed that Vogue shouldn't even have to do a "black" issue. And yes to less fetishwear here.

Otherwise, OK; could be better.

Oh, and I could've done without that last photo of the pool; gives me visions of that birth control commercial -- "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, every day" -- but now with Black Barbies. UGH.


Um. Wow.

The entire concept of the "Black Issue" is just ridiculous. Why not just allow and encourage much more diversity throughout your publication in EVERY issue.

That being said, I love the new Barbie's themselves. I think the features and the variety available is fantastic. I completely agree that little girls should not be made to believe that you have to be white, blond and blue-eyed to be beautiful. Not only does it encourage racism, it encourages unhealthy body images. Beauty if in the variety.

and yes....less "fetishwear" please.....


....Beauty IS in the variety....

sry


I guess these improvements come in strides; everyone's taking the right step forward and in time I don;t think there will be any filter on how we see certain types of people.

In the meantime, I want one of those Barbies. Now.


I had a black Dawn doll, Dale, when growing up in the 70s. But she definitely wasn't just a white doll with dark skin. Pic here:

http://thedawnspot.com/dale.html

I loved the variety of the Dawn dolls even though they were tiny, because not every outfit is suited for a blond, blue-eyed prep school doll. In fact, most everything looked better on Dale. It's probably why I prefer looking at black models today.


anonymous 12:25 may have been reminded of a birth control commercial by that last image, but, to me, it's pure Busby Berkeley, of whom I cannot get enough!

I must say this "Black Issue" thing annoys me. Doing it once to make a point is one thing. But their nod to "diversity" is to have one issue a year be the "Black Issue"? Why not make sure they have a diversity of models in every issue?

As to the images you've shown here, I will say that, yes, there is fetishism, but I also see homages to Diana Ross and Eartha Kitt.

Note to self: hie thee down to Europa Books and pick up a copy!


ALL little girls should not grow up thinking that "pretty" means "blonde and white" only.

Yes.

Or ultra-skinny. Oh wait. Yeah, there's still that, here.


Alot of those Barbie aren't exactly Barbie.

The Diana Ross is a Bob Mackie design, and I'm not really that crazy over it.

Byron Lars came out with both a Treasure of Africa Series, as well as a Hat Series that are beautifully made and feature more "ethnic"-looking faces. It's a shame they weren't featured here.


It's a step. Hope others will follow.

I love the last picture.


It's also fair to say that alot of the "Classic" Barbies (which are the typical Pouty-look in a brown mold) are EXTREMELY rare and worth twice as much as their white counterparts, if you can find them.

Hey, buyer's market. I'm just tellin' it how it is.


Like the improved Barbies, but not crazy about the doll issue- not sure why. It's giving me the heebie-jeebies....AND reminding me of that same commercial....AND it seems kind of objectifying too. But that could just be my interpretation.

Ow, my head. Have they pulled this doll stunt before?


Why didn't their article mention Julia which was a fantastic doll?

http://www.historiann.com/2008/09/27/diahann-carroll-dishes-on-race-performing-and-the-julia-barbie/

I was lucky, my doll's hair didn't turn red.

Note to self: buy this issue.


Anonymous
7/20/09 1:08 PM Why didn't their article mention Julia which was a fantastic doll?

http://www.historiann.com/2008/09/27/diahann-carroll-dishes-on-race-performing-and-the-julia-barbie/

I was lucky, my doll's hair didn't turn red.

Note to self: buy this issue.


I was about to ask the same thing. They re-issued the Julia doll this year, as well as a celebratory Alvin Ailey Doll.


As a matter of fact, Robert Best designed the two 50th Anniversary Barbie dolls, and they're not mentioned, either.


While I agree that little girls shouldn't grow up thinking beauty is "blonde and white only", I don't think little girls should grow up thinking disproportionate, skinny little dolls are the definition of beauty either. Show me a lone of Barbies in a range of skin tones with realistic figures, or at the very least proportionate ones, and then I'll start cheering on the movement to diversify the dolls. Until then it doesn't matter if the dolls come with light or dark skins, wide or slim noses, or what have you; they are still promoting the message that you need to look like one of those dolls to be beautiful, a message that transitions easily from little girls playing with dolls to young women being assaulted by media from all sides saying something is wrong with them if their legs aren't eight miles long and they don't have teeny waists.

Yeesh, I don't mean to rant, but it really drives me up a wall. "Look, we're diversifying Barbie and putting her in an all black issue of Vogue! Oh, she has the same figure that makes our little girls grow up with body image issues, but did you see her curlier hair? PROGRESSIVE!!!!"


They didn't mention other black dolls because it's not an article about black dolls. It's an editorial featuring the new line of black Barbies debuting this fall.


Acornlauren, are you really expecting Vogue of all things to do a piece on realistic body images?


Anonymous
7/20/09 1:14 PM They didn't mention other black dolls because it's not an article about black dolls. It's an editorial featuring the new line of black Barbies debuting this fall.


Not exactly. Most of these dolls are already out. And some of them aren't Barbie.


I have to echo the issue that some people have with a "Black Issue". I understand that it's trying to promote diversity, but by making it a special occurrence is kind of a backwards way to do it. "We'll celebrate ethnicity and diversity, but only once a year and not include any other ethnicity".

Diversity should be in the magazine throughout the year.

But it is great that an effort is being made to making all little girls feel beautiful regardless of their skin color. The more ideas of beauty that we put into the world, the better.


For what it's worth, Barbies actually ARE in bodily proportion now.

Just because they're skinny doesn't make them unnatural.


I'm confused the cover of the magazine says "Barbie Issue".
Just because the doll featured on the cover is Black doesn't mean it's a Black issue, right? Or wrong?
~~~~~~~~~~~
Are the dolls wearing in designer clothes or designer Barbie clothes?
Byron Lars does done some pretty neat looking Barbies.
~~~~~~~~~~~

I don't think Barbie dolls have any resposiblity for the body issues of young girls. As a mother I take full resposiblity for protecting and nurturing my childrens self image, including but not limited to - teaching them proper nutrition and exercise and NOT putting down my own body in front of them. Dolls have absolutely no power. They are play things, nothing more.
~~~~~~~~


Barbies don't brainwash little girls. Just by playing with a Barbie, they're not gonna think they have to look like one. Little girls that play with Raggedy Ann dolls don't think they need triangle noses and red yarn hair. And concerning the "Yay, they come in different colors" thing, the white Barbies don't come in different shades of white. So, don't act like the little black girls are all weeping in the corner because their Barbies only come in one color. Boo hoo.


Oh my god. They're DOLLS. They don't need to look completely real in every aspect. Girls can just deal. They've been dealing for years. They're playthings. You don't give real little bricks to boys instead of legos. Barbies aren't evil. The stupid femininsts that say they're evil are just iggnorant.


" TheNYCourier said...
For what it's worth, Barbies actually ARE in bodily proportion now."

Can you prove this somehow? This is the first I've heard of this, and based on these pics, with the super-long, skinny necks and gigantic heads, I somehow doubt it's true.

Also, my problem with this idea is this: they started the Black Issue to promote the use of black models, who weren't being hired by other magazines and for fashion shows. But now, by using dolls, Vogue is still denying those jobs to black models. So not only are black models not being hired as much for other jobs, they can't even get hired for the Black Issue!


Perhaps the people at Vogue do not recognize their position of privilege - that they have the choice of publishing a "black issue". Provided it may be seemingly racially tolerant and promotion of diversity, but in reality it is just reinforces their invisible cloak of white privilege. On the flip side, it is one of the first steps in recognizing their privilege, in that the recognize that there is a privilege. You have to do that before you can truly promote diversity.


" Anonymous said...

And concerning the "Yay, they come in different colors" thing, the white Barbies don't come in different shades of white."

Yes they do. There have been tanning Barbies and beach Barbies with darker skin, not to mention hispanic Barbies and even Italian Barbies with darker skin.

"So, don't act like the little black girls are all weeping in the corner because their Barbies only come in one color. Boo hoo."

No one said anything like that.


For what it's worth, Barbies actually ARE in bodily proportion now.

Just because they're skinny doesn't make them unnatural.


Really? Because I haven't seen one in the store (or a new one lately), but what I'd seen before said that a "real life" Barbie
would be 39”/19”/33” or 36"/16"/33"

While I guess it is possible, she'd wear about an 8 top, with a "-6" waist and a size 2 hip.

Are there .000001% of "real" women with these measurements?


Donny B
7/20/09 1:53 PM

Also, my problem with this idea is this: they started the Black Issue to promote the use of black models, who weren't being hired by other magazines and for fashion shows. But now, by using dolls, Vogue is still denying those jobs to black models. So not only are black models not being hired as much for other jobs, they can't even get hired for the Black Issue!
=======

More likely, Lindsay Lohan didn't have enough self-tanner to pose in this month's Vogue as Diana Ross.


Sewing Siren - it is, indeed, the Black Issue, with a "collector's supplement" featuring Barbie. See the first sentence of this article.


Aw c'mon, Peeps! They're BARBIES for godsake. Fashion dolls! I refuse to get all political over a fashion doll. I love it all.

respectfully yours,
A.


Lose the fetish wear please! Like Beautifulmonday I don't really get the whole Barbie doll issue (of Vogue, I mean). I'd rather see real women of all different colors take their places on the pages of Vogue and other magazines.


...and furthermore - there just isn't enough sychronized swimming in the world! Nothing to knock on that count!

-A.


Where is Robert Best to weigh in on the controversy!? Get him on the line!

-A.


I always thought that the reason Barbie's proportions were so off were so that clothes fit properly once they were on her.

Am I wrong?

She's a "fashion" doll and is designed to be dressed in clothes.


I agree with Averill. Robert may have designed one of the outfits, after all. Let's hear from him! It's been far too long.


I agree with the other poster's comments here on implementing diversity without having to announce it. That said--speaking of black dolls! It reminded me of the Shani dolls I had when I was little.

http://www.rubylane.com/shops/timemachinecollectibles/item/6972

This one was my absolute favorite. Why? Because she looked just like my mother.


"suzq said...
Donny B
7/20/09 1:53 PM

Also, my problem with this idea is this: they started the Black Issue to promote the use of black models, who weren't being hired by other magazines and for fashion shows. But now, by using dolls, Vogue is still denying those jobs to black models. So not only are black models not being hired as much for other jobs, they can't even get hired for the Black Issue!
=======

More likely, Lindsay Lohan didn't have enough self-tanner to pose in this month's Vogue as Diana Ross."

Ha ha. Maybe because she snorted it all?


So as a muchacha, I'd like to know, where is the Latina Barbie issue?


I am pleased to see a topic like this discussed, but ever since TLo admitted to never being little black girls, I just keep on giggling and can't get serious about what is a very topical topic.


I share some trepidation about "The Black Issue." I've done a bit of reading, and it seems that Vogue is barely making a dent (though to be fair, it's only been a year, and this whole thing is still confined to Europe). Little black girls still tend to reject the black dolls when given the choice between black and white dolls.

I look at it this way, though: this time last year, The Black Issue meant that Toccara Jones was working.


I remember playing with Barbies (and Dawn!) as a little girl. I really can't remember ever dwelling on the bodies, I just wanted the beautiful clothes and the Dream House! Besides, it is a toy, and most toys are items of fantasy.
The fashion mags and their editorial spreads are also items of fantasy. As a real woman, with a real body, I feel as though this fantastical world no longer values my business. They do not produce not promote clothes for my demographic (creative professional over 40). Shame, cause I have more money to spend than a lot of skinny young things.


Actually, I don't think anyone is saying that black people have "jungle fever," considering it is a slang term that denotes a non-black (usually white) person who is attracted to black people.


"Anonymous said...

Actually, I don't think anyone is saying that black people have "jungle fever," considering it is a slang term that denotes a non-black (usually white) person who is attracted to black people."

Good lord, what is wrong with the reading comprehension around here lately? No one said black people have jungle fever.

Here's what tlo said:

"It's always been something of an issue that black people are too often depicted as overly sexualized in the media; exotic creatures just dripping with sexuality and jungle fever"

which implies that they CAUSE "jungle fever."


Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Actually, I don't think anyone is saying that black people have "jungle fever," considering it is a slang term that denotes a non-black (usually white) person who is attracted to black people."

Good lord, what is wrong with the reading comprehension around here lately? No one said black people have jungle fever.

Here's what tlo said:

"It's always been something of an issue that black people are too often depicted as overly sexualized in the media; exotic creatures just dripping with sexuality and jungle fever"

which implies that they CAUSE "jungle fever.
"

Maybe on your planet. In modern American English, "exotic creatures just dripping with...jungle fever" equals "has jungle fever." I see now what they meant, but let's not pretend that's what they said.


"Maybe on your planet. In modern American English, "exotic creatures just dripping with...jungle fever" equals "has jungle fever.":

Maybe on your planet, but that's clearly not what we meant.


Back in the 80s, my little sister had a black Barbie. A family member was shocked that my mom let her have one. White girls like black Barbie too. My sister was always a realist.


Frankly, when I was a little girl, I didn't care what Barbie looked like. I didn't care about her skin color or her body type...

...I just wanted to take her clothing on and off and make her have sex with my Ken doll.

What? Don't tell me this wasn't normal. ;)


It's a shame that there even has to be any debate or discussion about this. At this time in the world we should all be able to recognize a beautiful person no matter what race or ethnicity.

What should be discussed is why the beauty industry has not yet recognized that the idea of beauty is universal and that every commercial and each print ad should illustrate world beauty and not personal preferences.


"People keep repeating this suggestion that Barbie would fall over and have to crawl around if she was real size, but it's just not the case, I find this suggestion more misogynistic than anything Barbie is accused of standing for. It's a nasty, sexual image. I've done my own calculations and she definitely doesn't have the dimensions of most people, but they are no means grossly abnormal. I'm sure the measurements of baby dolls aren't accurate but no one criticizes them."

-Moira Redmond.

Technically speaking, I'm sure Barbie's measurements are highly rare to find in most "normal" women, but it annoys me when people like to discriminate against Barbie and her size because they feel it leads to eating disorders or unattainable expectations. It seems like just a convenient object to blame something negative on, while not taking into account several other major factors and, not to mention, personal choice.

I played with Barbie as a child, and I played with guns. Now? I have a healthy BMI and Pro-Gun Control. They're TOYS.


whitneydenelle said:
"So as a muchacha, I'd like to know, where is the Latina Barbie issue?"

Not sure about the issue, but my little sister had a Latina Barbie (Although in those days, she was "Hispanic"). Mom wanted a doll for her with dark hair (we're black Irish). In fact, when the cabbage patch craze hit, she made the knock-offs herself in all shades for the little ones. I Love My Mommy!


Now your talking,NYCourier. We not only had realistc cap guns, but also play machine guns (can you imagine such a thing today?)and neither me or any of my sibs own a gun today.


Daxx! You do have an awesome mommy! I remember being super pleased to find a brunette, nerdy cousin of Barbie's with glasses-just like me! Sure, she wasn't Latina, but I loved her.

I had fun dressing Barbies, cutting and coloring their hair, and causing them to get into fatal crashes in their hot pink limos. It was all very soap opera. The last thing I thought about when playing with Barbies was the size of their waist-but the fact that there weren't many available of different races did stick out to me.


I will admit that I skimmed through a lot of the comments but it is rather shocking, well not that shocking that black Barbies would be important to little black girls and their mothers. I grew up with black barbies and yes, they are just the white one made with a different colour plastic. No difference in hair texture or anything. Most dolls are made with typically caucasian features and then manufactured in different shades. I have a lot of them. That mermaid doll that sings, the kid sister doll, etc.. they all are just a different shade from the white on you may own.

When they came out with the doll called Kenya (not sure if anyone remembers them) but the biggest selling point was that they came in three different shades, light brown, medium brown, and dark brown. My grandmothers got me the latter two because all I could talk about was having a doll my colour. So yes there is a market. For those who are complaining about the proportions, they changed those around 5 years ago. Yes she is still skinny but she wouldn't topple over if she were a real person. I applaud them for getting with the times, albeit late.

As for the Black issue, I think its a great thing, it needs to be released in the US probably more than Europe. However, its sad that Italian vogue was the branch who decided to do it and it has not been picked up by the US. They ended up sending all the unsold copies over to the states last time.


Did Barbie's arms always look so weird?

I HAD a Francie doll and she was NOT black. She was Barbie's blonde hippie cousin.

Historically, black girls have fewer body issues than white girls and are not hung up on being super-thin. I don't know if this is because of Barbie or the way they are raised or the fact that they seem to have role models in show business of various sizes.


I also never noticed the size of barbies waist when I was a kid... I just liked making up dramatic soap opera worthy tales with them. =P

They did change the basic shape of barbie about 6 years ago, and I honestly think it was so they'd look better in low-rise barbie pants then because Mattel cares what feminists think about the "message" barbie sends out to little girls.

On the eating disorder thing... Girls tend to develop eating disorders as a reaction to problems within their environment, usually things that they have no control over. How they look is the one thing they can control, and so they do. And the look they strive for is nothing like Barbie has ever looked - skin and bones isn't the same as disproportionate boobies and hips.

Sure, lots of girls have negative body image thanks to the popular version of whats pretty, but that isn't quite the same as an eating disorder. They can go hand in hand, but don't always.

Anyways! Back to the original topic, I think the "black issue" thing is silly, but the idea of a doll issue of a fashion mag is fun. I enjoyed the pictures and wouldn't mind seeing other spreads like this - possibly with a wider variety of barbie ethnicities.


Wow, lots of hot buttons here.

I've been involved in alot of discussions about race over the past year - classes, conferences, a massive push for diversity at the firm I work for...so here's my 2 1/2:

Yes, it would be wonderful if true diversity could just happen organically without having something so pointed as a "Black Issue." Truth is, we're just not there yet. Particularly in the U.S. Until we reach that point, we are responsible for purposfully putting forth images and ideas of diversity wherever we can.

A woman told me about a theater production where they went beyond "color-blind casting" and deliberatly sought a rainbow cast...she thought it was over the top, I thought it was awesome.

At my firm, the percentage of people of color pictured in our annual report is not accurate to the percentage at the firm...but how can our team go to the annual Black MBA conference and effectively recruit without making it apparent that diversity is important to us?

Point is, we have to have the conversations - uncomfortable as they may be - or we'll never heal this problem. And those conversations won't happen unless people step up and pointedly do things like the Black Issue, or create a new line of black Barbies.

Also - loved my Barbies, never worried about their shape.

I had a Dale too! I LOVED her, and wanted her fabulous makeup.

Re: the various skin tones of the new Barbies - that's been a big issue in the black community. (Hopefully less than it used to be, I don't know), but lighter skin and "good hair" (whatever) have been unfortunate standards of beauty -- so how awesome to be able to give a very dark little girl a very dark Barbie? Yay!


MC said
...I just wanted to take her clothing on and off and make her have sex with my Ken doll.

What? Don't tell me this wasn't normal. ;)


Oh, it was definitely normal! Me and my cousins made all of our barbies "hump" regardless of color or gender!


Crazy. My mom, older sister, and I were just talking about the fact that being the youngest, I never got a Barbie. I got a Francie. My mom didn't remember that, and I had never seen one since.

I knew I wasn't crazy!


I'd like to find a statistic of women who feel like their body image was negatively affected because of Barbies or dolls like it (maybe there is, I'm just too lazy).

See, I played with Barbies when I was a kid and I grew up to be a fabulous and sassy fat activist. Maybe I was just like MC and was only interested in Barbie having sex with Ken...

And yep, agree with everything you said regarding the issue, TLo!


"I'd like to find a statistic of women who feel like their body image was negatively affected because of Barbies or dolls like it (maybe there is, I'm just too lazy). "

I wanna see it too! Can't say I worried about her being too thin or whatever. I was too worried about playing with her, cutting her hair, trying to style it ( in ways that shouldn't be done), etc...


I really really really really like this. I disagree that it was too fetish-y. I feel that they would have done the same thing with white Barbies. I think I'm not quite over my Barbie obsession phase because this just made me incredibly happy.


I'm not sure if half of you have already said this, but if so, then I apologize.

Barbie does not do anything to little girls. Except make them want to be president, actress and a doctor all at once.
Personally I have now spent 20 years of my life playing with Barbies, as have a couple of my friends, and discussing this we have found that none of us ever wanted to "be" Barbie as kids, we wanted to be our moms.

As to the "all these are not Barbie" stuff. Yes, they technically all are. If Mattel makes a doll under the Barbie line that is not explicitly called "Barbie", it is still a Barbie.

I didn't think any of that was fetish wear, but then again, I have looked at most of these dolls for quite a while now in other places already. I did find it odd that this apparently was supposed to showcase this year's line somehow, yet many of these dolls came out years ago.


I would like to point out to everyone who is saying that they should promote diversity throughout the year that this is only being done by ITALIAN VOGUE. American Vogue has only had a handful of Black women on their cover and never had a "Black" issue. So I'll take ITALIAN Vogue doing once a year since it's not being done anywhere else.

And I love Barbie and as a Black woman it's nice to see a range of skin tones and face molds for her to represent Black women. Barbie's body is probably not going to change any time soon but just like her lack of melanin didn't define how I saw myself as a Black female, her body didn't affect how I saw mine either cause SHE'S A FOOT HIGH DOLL.


I have a confession to make; I never liked Barbie dolls. When I was growing up you rarely saw a black Barbie.The closest I could get was suntanned Skipper.

That said I will buy this issue and agree there shouldn't be a need for the "black issue" to exist. And since I live in a city that just kicked a bunch of kids out of a swim club for being too brown, if having this magazine in my house so when my nieces come to visit I can tell them the world values their brown skin, then so be it.


Anonymous
7/21/09 12:21 AM
As to the "all these are not Barbie" stuff. Yes, they technically all are. If Mattel makes a doll under the Barbie line that is not explicitly called "Barbie", it is still a Barbie.



No, that is not correct. Some of the more-jointed dolls are Tonner Dolls, not Mattel, therefore, not Barbie.


I'd say a Vogue "black issue" is as silly as a "gay pride" parade or "woman rights" movement. In an ideal world none of those things would be necessary. This is not an ideal world, so, kudos to all of those things!


whitneydenelle on 7/20/09 at 6:09 PM said "Daxx! You do have an awesome mommy! I remember being super pleased to find a brunette, nerdy cousin of Barbie's with glasses-just like me! Sure, she wasn't Latina, but I loved her."

I think her name was Midge.

TampaBay


MC said...I just wanted to take her clothing on and off and make her have sex with my Ken doll.

My Barbie always got in trouble with my brother's G.I. Joe. I always thought Ken was a nerd.

TampaBay


bitchybitchybitchy

MC said...I just wanted to take her clothing on and off and make her have sex with my Ken doll.

My Barbie always got in trouble with my brother's G.I. Joe. I always thought Ken was a nerd.

TampaBay

Even though my mother did her very best to insure that no knowledge of sex ever crossed my mind as a child, even then I knew that Ken was, shall we say, lacking anatomically?

My Barbies by the way were my entree to sewing...


Anyone ever remeber Earring Magic Ken?


once again, you nailed it!


I never had a problem with finding diverse Barbies as a kid, I had the typical blonde Barbies, a shorter redheaded Skipper, an Asian Barbie, a Native American Barbie, and an extremely pale black haired Barbie


Glad to see Barbie is getting diverse, but if anyone is still skeeved out by her Angelique-style body type I recommend Groovy Girls or Karito Kids. Both have body types that are more like a tween girl, not an adult. Groovy Girls are funky, soft-bodied dolls, very diverse, with a vast collection of hip clothes and accessories. Karito Kids are very cool 21" dolls and a portion of every purchase goes to a charity that your kid gets to choose online. They've only made 6 or 7 outfits for them so far, but the dolls are very high quality (comparable to American Girls but without the simpering quality) and there's no reason a budding fashionista couldn't create her own couture for her. Plus there's an online dress-up game you can play with endless choices. My daughter has "Lulu from Kenya" who has a great head of kinky locks and an exotic, elegant face.

There's a theory that the kind of role playing girls do with Barbie - i.e. heavy on the sex and violence - is a direct response to her exaggeratedly adult body. It's as if the girls use her to act out their own ambivalence/hostility toward becoming a sexual adult and/or competing with other females. Not that there's anything wrong with that - in fact it's probably healthy! But it's funny how in the spectrum of dolls, Barbie seems to come in for an unusual amount of torture - beheading, scalping, etc. - and copulation.


There's a theory that the kind of role playing girls do with Barbie - i.e. heavy on the sex and violence - is a direct response to her exaggeratedly adult body. It's as if the girls use her to act out their own ambivalence/hostility toward becoming a sexual adult and/or competing with other females. Not that there's anything wrong with that - in fact it's probably healthy! But it's funny how in the spectrum of dolls, Barbie seems to come in for an unusual amount of torture - beheading, scalping, etc. - and copulation.

Dear God! Do people really believe this kind of thing?


While I agree that all races/ethnicities should be included in all issues, I look forward to seeing this Black Barbie issue because they'll be new photos.

There have been ethnic and "White" dolls with heavier bodies than Barbie, back in 1999, there were the Get Set Dolls. Today, we have the Mixis Dolls by YNU Group. I have written about these dolls on my blog. If the dolls cost more than Barbie or require different wardrobes, parents don't always want to buy them.

Mattel has produced Teresa dolls as Barbie's Hispanic/Latino friend. Also, Shakira and the Rebelde dolls. They have produced fewer Asian and Native American dolls - but there are a few of them scattered over the years. Sad that there have been fewer in recent years. But I look for other suppliers when one source dries up ... like Yue Sai Wa Wa and Mei-Ling.

I love fashion dolls and action figures. Any photos of ANY playscale dolls or action figures interest me.





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