Sunday, March 4, 2012

Barbie gets a 'fro

Here it is again.  I found this article literally the same day that I was looking for a present for a young girl. I asked my Facebook friends what they thought I should choose and found, low and behold! A black Barbie with a 'fro! 
Now, that barbie looks like she just stepped off the set of Bad Girls, but at least her hair was not straight...well it's not straight in the back.  She had a curly perm or something.  I was told a few years ago when they started this "sistah" line of Barbies that Mattel didn't make the doll's hair curly because girls wanted to comb the hair and curly hair would not facilitate easy combing.  Uh huh…So Barbie's gonna yell, "Ouch! Ow, stop that! I can't stay still, this hurts" while she turns her head or tap dances on the floor so she doesn't say yell out, or try to run away…Oh wait, that's right: Barbie is an inanimate object and can't move and you, or better yet your child, can do whatever you like with her.  Hmmm….

Like the women in the article who decided to change Barbie's straight hair to natural so that girls could have Barbies that looked more like them, it's a challenge as an artist, educator, and a mom to look a certain way that denotes beauty, professionalism, and divadom all at the same time. My 'fro accomplishes this very well, I think.

As usual, comments after the article bring out views I didn't expect:
GeorgeMost black women that I see have their hair straight like the Barbie dolls. From Michelle Obama to Oprah, they all have straight hair and not frizzy afros.
So what is the issue here? The dolls are just looking like the real people...
Until I see most black women with afros, I would say that this issue is pure bunk.
Well I will grant this commenter has made a  good point. (I'll eat my hat if he's not caucasian)  Most Black women do straighten their hair. But mothers want their children to have role models that demonstrate that their children are beautiful as well; it doesn't matter whether they straighten their own hair or not. So I challenge women who ONLY have straightened her to go natural for a few months. Show you're kids that you think your hair is beautiful naturally, as it is.  Then, as I did, you may realize that it's just hair and you can style whatever way you like. But the pressure valve could be released on young girls HAVING to have a long, shiny, STRAIGHT, head of hair in order to be beautiful.  It's just one aspect of beauty.

But I must say that certain americans would be shouting even louder about how much Michelle Obama hates this country if she ever came out in a fro.  That's for sure.  But she'd look might fly if she did it!

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