CHANGE.ORG & Ethnic Barbies

A few times a week I will have an email from WWW.CHANGE.ORG.  In case you don’t know is a website that sponsors online campaigns.  There stated mission is to  “empower anyone, anywhere to start, join, and win campaigns for social change.  I love the concept.   Getting people around the world to rally behind your cause is in fact empowering & it allows for the average person to connect with other like-minded people and accomplish wonders.

I know I can just delete the email, but some of these causes upset me.  Like the one I received today entitled.  “A Barbie that looks like her daughter”  Essentially this Black mom wants you to sign her petition to force Mattel (toy maker) to make Barbie’s of color.

I would rather  just not buy Mattel products than to tell them what they already know.  They know that little black girls exist.  They know the purchasing power of African American’s; apparently they don’t care.  I remember feeling this way when Mabelline came out with the “Shades of You” line for Black women.  I felt like, so after all of these years you’re finally acknowledging we exist. Too little, too late, no thank you.  But that’s me.  Just in case you don’t know about the POWER of the Black spending I’ll enlighten you.

African -Americans represent over 42 million strong consumers, product talkers and brand influencers with a buying power of nearly one trillion dollars annually. By 2015, African-American buying power is estimated to gain a whopping 35% hitting 1.2 trillion dollars, up from $913 billion in 2008.* African-Americans are mega consumers beating out all other ethnic groups in the consumption of automobiles, wine & spirits, baby care products, groceries, health and beauty products, personal care products, apparel, electronics, movies and travel and entertainment.  We need to use this to our advantage.

I wish this mom would have created a prototype of what that Black doll would look like. The doll I imagine for my daughter is true brown, not beige.  Her nose is wide, her lips are full, her hips are slight with a full buttocks and her hair is thick and natural.  I bet she would have found funding on Kickstarter is an online platform where individuals can have creative projects funded.

I want my daughters to be strong.  I want them to have a true understand of the world that we live in.  I’m not saying accept it, but choose your battles wisely.    I feel like this type of action weakens us.  Oh please take our money.

Here is an excerpt from Karen’s “A Barbie that looks like her daughter” – As parents of children of color, we’re basically faced with the choice of either foregoing a Barbie theme altogether, or compensating for Mattel’s lack of sensitivity through labor-intensive DIY solutions. Check out this blog of a mother who went so far as to print out labels of Black Barbies at home and stick them to party supplies:  I love this idea.

Yes, Mattel made a clear choice not to create Black Barbie doll, so let’s just make a clear choice not to spend our money with Mattel.

I agree with Karen “Young girls of color need positive images of themselves reflected back to them in popular culture, the media, and their daily lives” that why I only allow my daughter to watch television shows reflect positive images of all women period.  No Bridzilla’s , No Bad Girls Club, essentially no videos & no Bravo network!  I live my life to be the best reflection for her in her daily life, mirror me!

It’s taken me 4 days to write this.  Since I started Mattel has gotten a bit of bad press from their “Mexico Barbie” critics of the doll says she is stereo typical.  Let it be!


2 thoughts on “CHANGE.ORG & Ethnic Barbies

  1. Love it! I had the same feeling when I got the email at Years ago I went into a Target that told me “we don’t carry those (black dolls) here”, I’ve never done my Christmas or toy shopping there since. It was my decision, I didn’t need a petition and I wasn’t going to beg them to value my dollar when I could spend it elsewhere. Also, I have a tough time believing that we should force corporations to do business that they don’t feel serves their profit margin—good, bad or indifferent. Mattel said that they didn’t feel it would be profitable. Do I agree? NO! Whether 50 years ago or today, they would make money serving a brown/black demographic with doll babies and barbies that look like them but if they choose not to I’ll line someone else’s pockets…just my opinion!

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