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Black “So in Style” Barbie Comes with Blonde Extensions & Can of Oil Sheen

Avatar • Nov 23, 2011

Many white Barbies have come with funky-colored clip in extensions over the years… so this is not exactly unprecedented. But what are your thoughts on the doll? And would you let your daughter play with one?

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Nia
Nia
9 years ago

I would be pissed with this doll IF Bronner Bros. had not been involved lol. I feel like this may have been a way to plug their hair products.

I don’t find it offensive, but it is quite tacky. Everybody knows you can’t be walking around with different textured weave in your head! So tacky!

BlackOnyx03
BlackOnyx03
9 years ago
Reply to  Nia

Well, sign me up for the “preachy” comment.… It makes me no difference that a black-owned/themed business is involved. If anything though, it makes me ever more upset that we would throw our own people under the bus. I’m not hip to the Barbie game, but I’d be interested to know whether the extensions that come with white Barbies are (a) the color of the Barbie’s natural hair, (b) an unnatural color like blue or purple, or © the color of a black Barbie’s natural hair. I sincerely doubt it’s the latter. So under this same principle, I don’t appreciate anybody… Read more »

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

I am not offended by the doll, I am offended by the fact that they came up with the idea by watching some black people. Remember that asian guy who came up with the idea of a gangsta video game, or was it monopoly? It was maybe 3 years ago, and Al Sharpton and every black leader denounced it as racist. You want to know what his answer was? Why is everyoone offended, he spent countless hours watching BET before he finalized his idea. The truth of the matter is that these products are a painful reminder of the foolish things… Read more »

arsha
arsha
9 years ago
Reply to  EG

soooooo true and well said

Tasha UK
Tasha UK
9 years ago
Reply to  EG

Well said

Richelle
Richelle
8 years ago
Reply to  Tasha UK

I couldn’t agree more. I grew up in Oakland, Ca and blonde, red and any other color was hanging from our heads. I am guilty of wearing the extensions when I was younger. Now I’m natural but I’m not going to act like I don’t know where the idea came from. Black people should not get mad when they see “art” imitating life. Now I wouldn’t buy this doll for my daughter but if it were a gift I would let her play with it. Who knows she might want to be a hairstylist one day. But I would let… Read more »

Jezebel
Jezebel
8 years ago
Reply to  Richelle

Very well put, Richelle!

Richelle
Richelle
8 years ago
Reply to  Jezebel

Thank you 🙂

Cosmodollitan Elle
8 years ago
Reply to  EG

Hello. I am collecting this line of dolls slowly, and I am far from 100% happy with them, but Mattel never gets any woman 100% right. There are far too many redheads with tan skin, or even tan with freckles (I know pale/Irish/ginger well and it’s like they have no clue)! For the record, I like this particular trio of sets for the kids mostly, even though their hair is annoying, and also the hair care items. I usually lovelovelove Trichelle with her curly hair, but Mattel decided to get it so backwards on all 3 sets. I really want to inform… Read more »

Selena
Selena
9 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

there are ads all over this site with black women and their blonde highlights, what do you say about that. black women are not the only ppl to have black hair…as far as black girls have a hard time seeing themselves as unique and valuing beauty that is nonsense cause buying this doll has nothing to do with that. verbal and physical abuse does. And as far as the features goes if the nose was to flat and lips too thick that would be too much..and how many of us now know someone who has on a piece or seen a… Read more »

tasi
tasi
8 years ago
Reply to  Selena

+1 not tht serious to me

RandomsbyJaHt
8 years ago
Reply to  tasi

+2 Barbies have always had clip on extensions, and yeah okay the oil sheen is a direct market at us. Even though I know a few caucasian women who use oil sheen because they thick curly hair, but still the point is not everything is supposed to be so politically charged. Sometimes you have to lighten up a little.

Cosmodollitan Elle
8 years ago
Reply to  Selena

Actually, to add to your helpful comment, I want to urge people to Google the BEAUTIFUL face sculpt on these dolls: Mbili.

It’s far from the 20th century AA Barbies and SO lovely.

brandy
brandy
8 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

Why can’t “we” be happy for the fact that a multi-million dollar company like Matel would offer Bronner Bros. an opportunity to reach a broader audience and expand their merchandise. Granted the oil sheen is a little tacky but nonetheless it’s a product they sell, and plus it’s the first model of S.I.S (LOVE THE NAME BTW). I think we should cut both companies some slack, and celebrate our culture whether you like it or not black women make up a large part of the extension business and its no secret. We complain about not enough “real/postive” images of us… Read more »

Cosmodollitan Elle
8 years ago
Reply to  brandy

Yes, I’d never heard of them. I have products from bioinfusion for my permed hair, especially its tips/ends and I’m not in the market for much new, but who knows? One of the tiny bottles with the doll is definitely not for me, but maybe the other two — haha.

dawn
dawn
8 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

well i’m confused. it’s bad for the black barbie to have blonde hair but what of kelly? hers actually contains a pink streak. and that’s unnatural for humans period and furthermore it’s promoting children “being grown” for dying their hair. so i feel like it would be unfair to bash the black barbie but not take any note of the kelly doll.

Jezebel
Jezebel
8 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

Why not just admit your own insecurities of self run so deep (as well as those of your fellow naysayer cohorts), that you sit, claws at the ready, waiting to viciously ponce on anyone or anything that might threaten the fragile image you thrust at the world. Black women DO wear blonde extensions (horse hair as you put it)! Young black women DO experiment with hairstyles. Black women DO use Afro Sheen, Right On Curl, Blue Magic, etc. Black women DO dye their hair “unnatural colors for a black woman”. And not ALL black women look like what YOU are accustomed to… Read more »

Jezebel
Jezebel
8 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

@ BlackOnyx03 Why not just admit your own insecurities of self run so deep (as well as those of your fellow naysayer cohorts), that you sit, claws at the ready, waiting to viciously ponce on anyone or anything that might threaten the fragile image you thrust at the world. Black women DO wear blonde extensions (horse hair as you put it)! Young black women DO experiment with hairstyles. Black women DO use Afro Sheen, Right On Curl, Blue Magic, etc. Black women DO dye their hair “unnatural colors for a black woman”. And not ALL black women look like what YOU are… Read more »

CandyceNoelle
CandyceNoelle
9 years ago

Blah, no kids yet but I’d just assume it would end up with it’s head popped off and in a corner after the plastic hair got all tangled and matted like my dolls did. haha can’t wait to see the first preaching comment though…

Oyinda
Oyinda
9 years ago
Reply to  CandyceNoelle

lmao @ “the first preaching comment”… i agree with you.. I don’t understand why we have to think so hard about these things.. its just a doll

Jezebel
Jezebel
8 years ago
Reply to  Oyinda

Right on, Oyinda! The preachiness comes from very insecure black women who have so little esteem, they actually think a toy represents them!

Cosmodollitan Elle
8 years ago
Reply to  CandyceNoelle

You can revive your future daughters’ dolls’ hair with something called a “boil perm” — Google it, if you ever like. I hate to see dolls go to waste.

meow
meow
9 years ago

I’m sorry, if anybody is going to get pissed off or offended by this doll, they seriously need to relax and focus on more important issues. It’s a doll. The child playing with it won’t be offended, it’s just a toy that they will play with for awhile until they get bored and move on to the next toy. Is the blonde extensions and oil sheen tacky? Yeah, of course, but it’s not necessary to make such a big deal about it.

Nia
Nia
9 years ago
Reply to  meow

Ditto. This is precisely how I feel lol.

dawn
dawn
8 years ago
Reply to  meow

cosign. i promise my dolls came with all types of color hair under the sun- half of them i chopped their hair off anyway when i was trying to play “hairstylist” so suffice it to say, children aren’t taking the color thing that seriously.

Kesha
Kesha
9 years ago

I am not offended, but I would not want my daughter to aspire for blond extetnsions, not even in make believe. I would let her play with wigs for dress up, but I feel like this doll mimicks the nonsense hair styles I see on the street. Tacky is a great description.

Lacoya S. (thesupercoya)
Reply to  Kesha

AGREED! I am not offended by the hairstyles, especially since it was a collaboration with Bronner Bros, however I would not want my daughter thinking that blond extensions and a bottle of oil sheen is good hair practice.

It’s not race-based, it’s tacky-based. I don’t want my daughter playing with a tacky doll.

Lacoya S. (thesupercoya)

I am not offended by the doll and its accessories*

Charlotte
9 years ago

LMBO!! Awww man… Yeah… No offense taken… If folks don’t like it, they don’t have to buy it…

There are so many other things going on in this world than to be offended by a doll w/a weave piece, regardless of the color of the weave…

Imani
9 years ago

At the risk of sounding preachy an perhaps a little elitist, I have to admit that I’m appalled by the very idea of this doll. Dolls aren’t just toys, they’re tools for girls to imagine their lives and futures. Dolls are aspirational, and I wouldn’t want any child of mine, or anyone I cared about thinking it was OK or cool to walk around with oil sheen and two toned extensions. It also promotes a certain lifestyle that I don’t want to extol. As a community, we have to be more critical of the images that represent us for the… Read more »

Anon
Anon
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

If dolls are something little girls projectg their futures onto, then I am quite frightened. My daugther plays with My Little Pony and Hello Kitty dolls, and I certainly would want her to imagine herself growing up to be a mouthless cat or pink horse. Sarcasm aside, I don’t think dolls carry that much of social stigma. Little girls know they aren’t real. They’re just things to throw around and end up in the basement after a few months.

merry
merry
9 years ago
Reply to  Anon

@anon, little girls may know they are “real” but they do represent ideas of beauty and acceptability. haven’t you heard of the doll test? i have a 8 year old niece who does not want anyone to buy her a black doll because she thinks they are ugly. she also believes light skin is more beautiful. hello kitty and my little pony are not dolls. i work in media and i always find it bizarre when people act as though certain things that are put out there don’t matter — like they just roll off people’s backs. well, they don’t. if they… Read more »

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  merry

@Merry,

Well said. I work in media as well and I’ve witnessed its impact firsthand. Look all the young women holding up Kim Kardashian as a role model. An extreme example, but all part of the same influencer spectrum. That’s exactly why I feel so strongly about this.

Twitter: @Tribecalledcurl

Megan T
Megan T
9 years ago
Reply to  merry

Amen!

Megan T
Megan T
9 years ago
Reply to  Megan T

Just to clarify, I was “Amen-ing” Merry.…I must say I agree with some of what you are saying Imani, not just in this post but others as well. However I feel there is some elitism on the topic…let’s think about the natural movement for a second. For the most part, being a loose natural (not dredlocks)has exploded in the middle class, upper middle class AA community. The ‘hood? not so much. I’m seeing college educated black woman go natural. I’m also seeing people deem historically and culturally “hood” hairstyles like colored weave and glued in tracks as tacky or uncouth.… Read more »

BlackOnyx03
BlackOnyx03
9 years ago
Reply to  Megan T

I don’t buy the girl from the hood can see a doll she can identify with argument. If they start selling Ken dolls with cornrows, a 40, and a printed rap sheet — we’d be up in arms.

There is no good reason for selling black dolls with blonde hair extensions, in my humble opinion.

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

In my opinion there is no good reason for black people to walk around with blond extensions, however, we know that some black women still do, hence the doll. Art imitates life and vice versa, sad but true.

Megan T
Megan T
9 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

But see…all that you mentioned above regarding Ken would be a sterotype. If the ONLY black barbie doll out there was this one with the blonde weave…well, yea we’d have an issue. But its one of many representations out there of black people. I feel like its just like white barbie dolls. They get to have hair of all colors. Why can’t we? It’s somebody’s cup of tea, not mine, not yours, but somebody. And I won’t knock their choice since I don’t want them knocking mine.

BlackOnyx03
BlackOnyx03
8 years ago
Reply to  Megan T

I don’t see a true distinction here. You could easily say that Rap Sheet Ken(drick) is just one of the many representations of black male dolls. So that leaves me back where I began.

Jezebel
Jezebel
8 years ago
Reply to  Megan T

Yes, Megan, you make an accurate assessment. Too many black women still have their feelings hurt over being called “ugly” or “black” by BLACK ppl to be able to view this doll objectively. There are Black Princess Barbies, Black SuperModel Barbies, Black Mommy Barbies, Bikini clad Barbies. Barbies in African garb! In fact, there is almost a Black Barbie for every white Barbie. In fact, the most common ethnicity Barbie comes in besides white is BLACK. But insecure angry black women (talk about your stereotype!) like BlackOnyx03 and her ilk can’t see that because they are too busy being self-defensive… Read more »

Krystal
Krystal
9 years ago
Reply to  Megan T

Yes, Megan. I agree with your assessment.

Meena
Meena
9 years ago
Reply to  Krystal

Growing up I had white barbies, tan barbies, black barbies, mermaid barbies and at some point blue barbies and green barbies,and sometimes they came with pink, blue, orange hair extensions. I wasn’t necessarily interested in what colour my barbie was to be honest, I didn’t grow up thinking than Pamela Anderson was my role model. (actually I had no idea who the hell that was at that point in my life,lol, I was one of those weird ones that already knew I wanted to be successful (like Oprah) when I grew up bottom line is, these things depend on the individual,… Read more »

Megan T
Megan T
9 years ago
Reply to  Meena

Yes.

brandy
brandy
8 years ago
Reply to  merry

Im sorry but I will have to disagree with you on that. Growing up I was given white barbies and black barbies. I played with them equally and me doing so has not resulted in me thinking that white beauty is right. My mother instilled in me that I am beautiful too and that color doesn’t matter. More importantantly it is about how I carry mysef as a young lady and that I appreciate EVERYONE for their inner beauty/character Its is our responsibility to teach our children what the media/society is not. And if you choose to feed into your… Read more »

dawn
dawn
8 years ago
Reply to  Imani

no offense, but when i was growing up, i had dolls of every shade. a doll to me was just a doll. my dolls dressed hootchie- all of them, black and white alike. barbie came with a kelly doll, with ken nowhere in sight. but because my parents raised me to know better, i knew that i had better not walk around dressed like my barbies were dressed. i knew that i had better not bring forth a child with a man nowhere to be found. i was able to separate reality from fantasy because of GOOD PARENTING. you could… Read more »

Bethany
9 years ago

Very tacky, but I’ve seen equally tacky Barbie products regardless of race. The brand can be very hit or miss.

Plus, the extensions are for a ‘hair show’ (based on the box), and can we be honest about the types of styles we see a those?

Sure, my (future) daughter could play with the doll. If she wants to use the extension, fine, if not, even better 🙂

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  Bethany

Bethany,
You’re absolutely right, Mattel is an equal opportunity offender. That doesn’t make the doll ok to me. As a company, its their responsibility to be culturally sensitive. Where it does it end? Would they make a Muslim Barbie in full garb? A Chinese Barbie with bound feet? Just because an image or lifestyle exists doesn’t mean it should be promoted.

Twitter: @Tribecalledcurl

Bethany
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

I don’t think the blonde highlight, can of oil sheen is just an image though. Its a real way of life for lots of black women, maybe not you and I, but I work with a population of people who would be happy to see this on the market for their daughters. Who are we to say its wrong?

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  Bethany

I think everyone makes judgments, that’s part of human nature. I’m not making a statement about the lifestyle, its about Mattel and Bronner Brothers decision to promote it.

I’m from that population that you speak of, and I personally don’t know anyone who’d jump at this doll. Not saying they don’t exist, I just don’t know any. To me, this is the equivalent of making a Bridge and Tunnel Barbie or an Appalachian Barbie. Those lifestyles exist, but its just not done.

I’m not mad at anyone who buys it, I’m disappointed in Mattel.

Twitter: @Tribecalledcurl

Bethany
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

I still think these are pretty tame styles for a hair show, but I acknowledge your point. And while Mattel is might be partially to blame, let’s not forget about Bronner Bros.

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  Bethany

You’re absolutely right. A pox on Bronner Brothers, lol! No more oil more sheen for my natural hair. It didn’t work for me anyway. 😉

Twitter: @Tribecalledcurl

Lin
Lin
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

Actually, I think a tastefully done Muslim Barbie would be kind of bitchin’.
Also, binding feet in China is very much illegal these days, so any company with an ounce of sense would know not to use that example.

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  Lin

I agree. I think that if Mattel was to create a muslim barbie a lot of people would see it as promoting diversity. I agree with you on the fee thing as well.

Jezebel
Jezebel
8 years ago
Reply to  Lin

o Please. If they made a Muslim Barbie, folks would still get their panties in a bunch. In fact, Mattel might get bombed. Who would they market such a doll too? The adult doll collector?

Muslims are already complaining about the lack of Muslim tradition from modernized Muslim girls who have abandoned traditional Muslim garb and customs for Westernized attributes.

Not to mention, taste is a matter of subjection. No. Let’s leave the Muslims out of it. If they want a doll, let them create their own.

Cosmodollitan Elle
8 years ago
Reply to  Jezebel

They made their own: Fulla. Not related to Mattel.

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

I get what you’re trying to say, but you’re not comparing apples to oranges. Binding feet may have been part of the chinese culture, but it is one that they are ashamed of. Black people on the other hand (well a good portion of us) are not ashamed of rocking extensions, and do so in many, and sometimes bold colors. So mattel is not being culturally insensitive, they are marketing to their base. The fact that you see it as insensitive means nothing to them because they weren’t targeting you to begin with. I think what we refuse to admit is that… Read more »

dawn
dawn
8 years ago
Reply to  EG

good pt.

Jezebel
Jezebel
8 years ago
Reply to  EG

I think what we refuse to admit is that we are ashamed that the world is watching our foolishness and taking advantage of it.”

@EG YOU SAID IT!!! YOU SAID IT!!! YOU SAID IT!!!

Krystal
Krystal
9 years ago

Wow. They think of everything, lol. I actually think it’s funny. They even include a kinky-curly extension piece. Sure, I’d let my daughter play with it.

Shura
Shura
9 years ago

Anyone who thinks this is Okay! has a serious problem. The child won’t be offended but this is putting in their head that we don’t naturally have blonde hair but its okay to glue these fake pieces into our hair. Lets stop pretending to be something that we are not. How about we create a doll that teaches young girls to take care & accept their own hair.

sunshyne84
sunshyne84
9 years ago

I don’t know how that nappy hair piece would work, but I’m more curious as to why the little girl doll was included with pink/purple hair.

FitnessAngel
FitnessAngel
9 years ago

how many black women do you see walking around with blonde wigs, extentions, weaves!! I find that offensive & extremely tacky, not this doll, let’s set the example for our children to embrace our own natural beauty

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  FitnessAngel

+1

cygnet
cygnet
9 years ago
Reply to  FitnessAngel

Around the beginning of this week, I saw the most beautiful combination of pinks, reds, and wines accented by soft yellows. No, these were not patterned onto a shirt or scarf. These exquisite colors were arrayed on a young AA woman’s head in the form of some sort of braid extensions. The juxtaposition of the colors—seriously, the colors in and of themselves were quite beautiful in combination—with the style made it extremely difficult for me to resist staring. The extensions packaged with the doll are quite run-of-the-mill by comparison. I will go on record, though, as having never liked that… Read more »

Jenesi jae
Jenesi jae
9 years ago

Yes my daughter could play with that…wish i had one when i was little .I feel that for far too long our children have been associating with that which is other than them.….also the offense should be a child growing up not knowing who she is or where she comes from.there is never anything wrong with knowing your culture.….if it was a hippie white barbie i bet there would be no issue.….we need to stop categorizing as parents and teach.….every other race represents who they are with no fear or recourse.…why cant we.

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  Jenesi jae

I disagree. Not every segment of group is celebrated. We talk about Asians as model minorities, we don’t see Asian Nail Tech Barbies, or Asian fake goods Barbies. Oil Sheen and Blonde tracks isn’t our culture, its a representation of a certain class. I’m not trying to degrade anyone’s lifestyle, but I don’t think it should be celebrated, either. I wouldn’t correlate Hippie Barbie and blonde track wearing Barbie. That would be more like Natural Hair Afrocentric Barbie. I’m all for that one. Where’s she at? Until Barbie makes equivalent class representations of other cultures, I’ll continue to be displeased. Twitter:… Read more »

CandyceNoelle
CandyceNoelle
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

Let’s be honest though…if they made an “Afro-centric” Barbie…people would complain about that as well. They would say it’s not authentic because the patterns on the cloth are wrong…or question it if it had patterned cloths in the first place. “Why is her hair in an Afro?” “Not all naturals wear Afros”…then that would open up “where’s the ‘twist-out’ barbie?” “Why isn’t my type texture on a doll?” It just opens up to more scrutiny. You can’t please/satisfy everyone. For years there were complaints about Barbie not being black or representing “lil black girls in the ‘hood”…I’m pretty sure this… Read more »

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  CandyceNoelle

Lol, you’re absolutely right. What did Grandma used to say about opinions? Everybody’s got one. You can’t please *every* consumer. But displeased Americans have no problems voicing their objections (think conservative groups like the Parents Television Council). And, I wanted to add in my own. I’ll definitely let my wallet do the talking, though. I won’t be buying any Mattel dolls.

Twitter: @Tribecalledcurl

Patu
Patu
9 years ago
Reply to  CandyceNoelle

CandyceNoelle, you couldn’t have responded better. I think its really is up to the individual, on whether or not they would purchase this doll for their child. I don’t have a daughter, but if I did, I would let her decide if she wanted the doll. Many of you are fooling yourselves if you believe that this a misrepresentation of our culture. I am very well educated, my mother never wore extensions, but on a occasions I do like to change my hair color and add a few extensions! @ Imani, you have seriously been fooled. I agreed with most… Read more »

lala
lala
9 years ago
Reply to  Jenesi jae

Well said! If it were a white barbie with a can of hair spray and a pink hair extension there would be no issue, but because this is a black barbie, oh boy, here comes trouble, our children are going to be scarred and are going to start wearing blonde hair extensions and put oil sheen in their hair! As parents, we need to learn how to teach our kids instead of hiding or banning any toy that we may feel is tacky to our race. It doesn’t have to be. It can be embraced, it can be funny, and… Read more »

lala
lala
9 years ago

If my daughter really wanted this doll, sure, i’ll get it for her. To go so far as to act like a doll with a blonde hair piece extension and oil sheen is going to tragically alter my kid’s mindset of how they should wear their hair is a tad overdramatic and sounds paranoid to me. If it really does become such an issue, I would let my daughter play with other dolls where their hair isn’t as tacky, or let her know that although this may be a toy i wouldn’t want her to wear her hair this way.… Read more »

CandyceNoelle
CandyceNoelle
9 years ago
Reply to  lala

+1…I love it lol. I love all the fuss too…very entertaining, just like the doll. It’s entertainment as well.

lala
lala
9 years ago
Reply to  CandyceNoelle

@ CandyceNoelle‑I find the fuss very amusing, and predictably, there are people who are going to turn this into a racial issue/topic instead of turning it around into something funny and entertaining. The people who are making such fuss honestly will probably never be satisfied with anything Mattell does with black barbies. If they did start making black barbies with baby fros, dreads, etc. then they will nit pick about how the texture of the hair isn’t “natural” enough, or complain about the outfit the doll is wearing, etc. If a mother wants to buy their child this doll, and… Read more »

CandyceNoelle
CandyceNoelle
9 years ago
Reply to  lala

Once again…agreed. I just made the same comment somewhere in this thread lol. Let them rant. My future children are going to be lil Huey Freemans so I don’t care hahaha

lala
lala
9 years ago
Reply to  CandyceNoelle

I agreed with that comment you posted! That’s exactly how things will go down: Mattell will attempt to make an afro barbie, or a natural hair barbie, and then there will be a flood of complaints about everything you mentioned. It’s kind of sad, it’s like we can’t see the sense of humor in anything anymore, and even when a company tries to please a certain audience, it’s never enough because there’s going to always be SOMETHING that somebody will complain about. Even when mainstream magazines try and feature more women of color, or women with kinky/natural hair textures, there… Read more »

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  lala

You make a great point. Good parenting trumps everything, even stereotypes. It’s definitely about execution and parental involvement, explaining that it’s just a hairstyle, and something fun to play with. Unfortunately, not every parent is as involved and supportive as you are. My mom was, and that’s the reason I am who I am today.

Media and popular culture are more influential than we give it credit for. There have been studies on media and dolls and their affect on little girls and teens. Check out “Reviving Ophelia” by Mary Pipher for more on the issue.

Twitter: @Tribecalledcurl

lala
lala
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

@ Imani- don’t get me wrong girl, I definitely understand that not all parents think like you and I do. Honestly though, all we can do is focus on our own and how we raise our children, not on how other people parent and raise their kids and how they let those stereotypes trump over their parenting skills. That’s an issue/problem that we can’t solve and treat overnight, and even if black people were presented more positively in maintstream media, that’s not to say that those parents who have no parenting skills/involvement will all of a sudden see the light.… Read more »

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  lala

@Lala You made me smile with that one. You’re right all we *can* do is raise our own children, but I also also feel like we should be looking out for the community as a whole, as well. Do you think Jewish people would let Mattel create a “Shyster” Ken doll? Any time there’s anything remotely offensive made or said about Jewish people, its redacted in a heartbeat. Two examples that immediately come to mind: It’s all about the Benjamins Baby “Stack chips like Hebrews” line and Michael Jackson’s They don’t Really Care About Us “Kike me” phrase. I know these… Read more »

lala
lala
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

Those are extremes Imani, extremes that are far more insensitive and ignorant than a black barbie with a blonde hair extension. Maybe it’s just me, but I believe in choosing battles wisely. What we’re talking about here is a doll, a doll that can bring hours of fun to a child’s day, sure, to us, because we’re adults, we view the hair style as something negative, but to that child, it’s a toy for them to play with, and like I said above, if it does become an issue, then it’s up to the parent to teach and raise their… Read more »

Krystal
Krystal
9 years ago
Reply to  lala

Well said.

Krystal
Krystal
9 years ago
Reply to  Krystal

@lala

Soigne1908
Soigne1908
9 years ago

To me, this seems like it’s aimed at the Beyonce Stan crowd’s daughters.

CandyceNoelle
CandyceNoelle
9 years ago
Reply to  Soigne1908

lmaoooo…best comment yet.

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  CandyceNoelle

@CandyceNoelle

I gotta agree! 😉

Twitter: @Tribecalledcurl

BeautyIAM
BeautyIAM
9 years ago
Reply to  Soigne1908

LOL!That is all 😀

Barbara
Barbara
9 years ago
Reply to  Soigne1908

LMFAO!!

lenee campbell
lenee campbell
9 years ago

I guess I would let girls play with it too me it is nothing offensive about it. We need too remember its just a doll. And the hair extension is what a lot of women are wearing anyway.

lala
lala
9 years ago
Reply to  lenee campbell

Yeah, women of many different races wear hair extensions, and many dolls, white and black, have colorful hair extensions. Why is it that when white barbies have colorful hair extensions and highlights, nobody says anything about it, but when it is a black barbie, it has to be turned into a racial issue? It’s not stereotyping when women of many color wear tacky hair styles, it’s the “it” style right now. If anything, it’s just an issue of personal taste, but offensive? Hardly.

Imani
9 years ago
Reply to  lala

@Lala, I wish we were in a position of true equality. Then, I would 100% agree with you, it would *just* be a doll. The problem for me is that this is still the prevailing image of Black women, in the absence of others. We already know there’s plenty of ways for white women to be beautiful and glamorous, so when little girls get White barbies with pink colored extensions, it doesn’t mean as much. We get less choices with the Black dolls because we’re a smaller segment of the population. It all relates to how we’re perceived and treated.… Read more »

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

Agreed!

BlackOnyx03
BlackOnyx03
9 years ago
Reply to  Imani

ITA, Imani!

Candice Straughter
9 years ago

I was upset for a hot second before I went to the Mattel site to see what’s up. This just goes to show that all black women don’t think the same. Where not all cut from the same cloth with the same aspirations. We’re free thinkers and unique. Some of us do aspire to be the hit at the hair show and some of us desire to be the bomb lawyer or judge in the courtroom. I doubt that playing with this doll is gonna mess up a young girls future or lead to low self esteem, if you have… Read more »

simone
simone
9 years ago

could not have said it better myself..

Mai
Mai
9 years ago

I’m not offended by the extensions, I’m offended by the oil sheen.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
9 years ago

Of course I would let my girl play with this doll. Some Black women have blonde hair. Big whoop.

And I use oil sheen in my hair so not understanding what’s wrong with that either.

Sam
Sam
9 years ago

I would like to know what kind of lifestyle two toned extensions and oil sheen portray. Its a fact that many black women use oil sheen, lifestyles aside. Are we associating oil sheen or extensions with ghetto-ness? I wouldn’t be surprised if Michelle Obama used a little Motions from time to time and she certainly isn’t considered ghetto. Why must we be so offended by the way we choose to take care of our hair? We may do several things different to our hair, but that’s ok. Its a form of expression and diversity.

mashiara
mashiara
9 years ago

In total agreement with you Imani. The doll is not offensive per say, but definitely culturally biased and stereotypical. If the doll had funky green/pink/blue extension then I would be more likely to write it off as another tacky doll, but it seems as though the marketing company was having fun with this one, “let’s put out a doll that has blonde extension with some oil sheen, the blacks will love it” or better yet, I’m surprise there isn’t a watermelon flavor blow pop in her hand and some bambo earrings! *rolling eyes* come on can’t we do better? It… Read more »

mashiara
mashiara
9 years ago

@Imani ITA I think this doll is quite sterotypical and culturally biased, but not offensive. I think that the marketing company was trying to be funny, if you ask me. “Let’s make a AA doll that is pretty typical of AA cultural, they want to be white- let’s give them blonde extension and oil sheen.” If I had a daughter I would not be buying this product. The doll is racialized, if the doll had blue/green/pink extension then it would not be about race. What culture has blonde hair naturally? (without going into genetics-plain and simple ‑people of European descent). Again… Read more »

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago
Reply to  mashiara

+1

BlackOnyx03
BlackOnyx03
9 years ago
Reply to  mashiara

+1,000,000,000,000! There are no inadvertent decisions made when it comes to what’s marketed to us and why. Why do black dolls get blonde hair extensions? I’d really like to hear Mattel’s explanation for that… And I don’t buy the “it’s just a doll” argument that some people are making. People are free to buy or not buy this doll, but I think saying “it’s just a doll” rings very hollow in light of what we know about the aspirational value of dolls. When it comes to the images to which we are exposed, it’s never just anything. It’s not just a movie.… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

=) Excellent roundup! In agreement w/ all who have posted similar comments.

stratosphere
stratosphere
9 years ago
Reply to  mashiara

In agreement with Imani, Onyx, Mashiara, etc. I can’t believe some aren’t thinking more deeply about dollars spent on crafted images. I guess I’ll be the “thinking too much” lady on this, but I pray I raise my daughter so she’ll never even desire such a doll. Tacky, campy, ghetto, … sorry, these were my first thoughts abt the doll. We have got to do better and demand better. Mainstream media’s continually playing on certain stereotypes and segments of black society happens all the time because we just brush it off, somehow not connecting the thoughts that a tightly-controlled public… Read more »

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  stratosphere

It’s not so much that we are brushing it off, so much that some of us are saying that you have to respect yourself before others do so. A few of you have brought up how sensitive people are towards the jewish community. You want to know why? because they demand respect. They have a all for one and one for all attitude.….as a community, we do neither. You know what I find more damaging to our community than this doll? BET and rap videos. You want respect? Fight for it.….and no, my daugher (i don’t have one) would not have… Read more »

stratosphere
stratosphere
9 years ago
Reply to  EG

You restated much of what I said, so I’m in agreement. Not brushing it off is the same thing as, to me, as respecting yourself enough to say, “Any and every representation of me is not okay.”

That’s my whole point. You start earning the respect of others by demonstrating enough self-respect to be vigilant about your public image. I don’t see how a black woman’s supporting this doll particularly reflects self-respect, for reasons others have provided in this thread.

To me, BET, rap (lyrics, images, etc), this doll are all offensive and damaging.

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  stratosphere

True. 🙂

Selena
Selena
9 years ago
Reply to  mashiara

you spout big phrases but when read the reader infact sees you as being racist..why dont we stop buying Just for Me products to do our children’s hair, stop buying beyonce’s music(cause last time i checked she wasn’t blonde)stop watching bet videos cause that is the biggest mis representation of black women. everything that is done pertaining to black ppl we rationalize and over annalyze. does everyone who has commented all have natural hair or have never worn a colour wig, mind you blond extensions. you ask what culture has blonde hair, but thats not their only hair colour is… Read more »

mashiara
mashiara
9 years ago

*sorry for the double post* you can delete the first one (my computer was tripping!)

Adrianna
Adrianna
9 years ago

This would have been my DREAM as a child had this come out when I was little girl! I remember when I was 6 or 7, I use to microwave my Barbies in an effort to straighten their hair lol, then as I got older I would cut the hair.. etc. NOW IM A LICENSED COSMETOLOGIST! LOL! People are trying to find something to be offended about. I use Bronner Bros products and mainly with extensions… I think this doll caters to our culture. There are all types of Barbies that cater to our culture now but were not happy… Read more »

mili
mili
9 years ago

I had a white barbie once and it game with glitter hair gel and really really really long hair. So I don’t see the problem. Not everything is an attack. And me having a Barbie with long hair never made me want really long hair or to be white or anything. I knew someone gave that to my aunt because they knew she had kids. I never even had extensions. To some people, a doll is just a doll.

df
df
9 years ago

They were leaning on stereotypes and didn’t feel like thinking outside the box at all. To me it’s sort of ridiculous to the point of being funny. I just can’t imagine anyone black, white, asian buying this doll for their daughters (but I know some folx will).

ohbother
ohbother
9 years ago

I’m just offended she doesn’t come with a satin scarf because in real life most of us probably aren’t going to bed without our scarves on relaxed or natural! lol.

Adrianna
Adrianna
9 years ago
Reply to  ohbother

lol! Right!

janelle
janelle
9 years ago

I don’t have time for eloquence, I’m about to bake some pies. So all I have to say is…tacky. It looks tacky. It’s tasteless. It’s a big fat mess. If your hair looks like this, and no one has told you that, then people aren’t being fair to you. If you voted yes you’d let your daughter play with this tacky mess, I’m giving you the side eye, yes I am.

Wilberthe
Wilberthe
9 years ago

As if little black girls need any more negative cultural messages about their natural hair…
I feel like if I had a little girl, and she really wanted the doll, I would get it for her. But I’d make sure to have some dialogue with her about it, so that she knows that there isn’t just one way to be pretty.

Selena
Selena
9 years ago
Reply to  Wilberthe

i dont think black girls are getting any more negative culture than we a giving to them…we make simple things an issue instead of being realistic…you should not have to dialogue your child to buy her a doll. black women wear hair extensions, its in the black magazine with blonde hair as well. black ppl should not wear blonde extensions well dont wear red or blue or any other colour infact…as a matter of fact a girl now walked out of the office with blonde extensions. maybe i should tell her it looks tacky.

Dee
Dee
9 years ago

I VOTED YES! It’s a damn doll and I don’t know why people are in such an outrage. We have ALL seen folk walk around with their hair like this…blonde (or even brown or black) unnaturally textured weave in their heads. The doll got blonde hair extensions because *gasp* there are a bunch of blonde haired black girls out there. I used to get blonde highlights all the time (that is until the gray started coming in and I had to go straight black). That’s what the extensions are for, blonde highlights. Gosh! Some “stereotypes” are based in truth. Case… Read more »

Dené
Dené
9 years ago
Reply to  Dee

Oh goodness. Just don’t buy the doll. Raise your child the way you please. If you dont buy the doll they will know it is something that we don’t deem acceptable. Some People are more upset at blond extensions. Really? And don’t act like nobody on this feed hasn’t used a can of oil sheen!

Selena
Selena
9 years ago
Reply to  Dené

well said…too much about nothing…most of the comments make it seem too personable like an exaggeration of themself seen by others. some may not like what is said but after you read my comment read over what you wrote.

Miss T
Miss T
9 years ago

I’m not trying to be funny, but, do people really wear oil sheen and extentions at the same time? Usually extentions are pretty sheeny, I’m just saying…

CindyP
CindyP
9 years ago

Earlier this year,there were two articles featuring barbie dolls and their hair on this blog. One was called Turning Barbies into Natural Hair Dolls on 11August 2011 http://bglhonline.com/2011/08/turning-barbies-into-natural-hair-dolls/ and the other was called Locked Barbies on 22January2011 http://bglhonline.com/2010/01/friday-awesomeness-locked-barbie-dolls/ Now these dolls blew me away!!! I enjoy the solidarity I feel when I come to this website. It is refreshing to be in a forum when predominately black women are sticking together and standing up for one another and I think it is becoming evident by the power we can wield as a unified front that forcing companies to take notice. With… Read more »

binks
binks
9 years ago

LOL at some of these comments. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel, I’ am not offended per se nor am I a parent but I’ am just scratching my head. Why blond? They at least could have did some honey brown highlights or chestnut brown or something…lol

Susie
Susie
9 years ago

Ditto what quite a few others have said. I’m not offended at all — whether we like it or not many of our sisters rock hair like this so it’s not like Mattel had create this image, the could just look on the streets and with Bronner Bros by their side… As for cultural sensitivities, again I think others have prob said it (I didn’t read all the comments sorry!) but it is not the role of Mattel to educate our children. They are a business enterprise not a social venture. They make business decisions and if enough people are going… Read more »

Laila
Laila
9 years ago
Reply to  Susie

You’re right. It isn’t Mattel’s responsibility job to educate our kids and instill the sensibility that they are perfect just the way you are. As a little sister, niece, daughter etc i was always told to concentrate on yourself and whats going on in anyone’s headpiece doesn’t determine their self esteem (unfortunately this isn’t true for everybody). (Kat Williams==> it’s esteem of your SELF). So if your child has enough self worth, they can play with whatever dolly they want. Instilling that self worth into children is a parents primary goal in raising them. once that’s done trivial things like… Read more »

Selena
Selena
9 years ago

ive read some of the comments and i find that alot of them to be one sided…its ok to dress up with all the colours of the world hair extensions but when its put on a doll its a problem. My scene dolls have so what…but on a black doll no…we wear wigs, blonde ones too and i can think of a few entertainers who do the same..just admit that we add extensions blonde,blue whatever and get over it.…its a doll..and the only reason something like that would ever bother a child is because the parent exaggerated a situation and… Read more »

Jaeda Barbie
9 years ago

I think the doll is tacky and stupid. Not offended, just wouldnt buy the doll,

JJ
JJ
9 years ago

I LOL’d when I saw this. It’s not that serious really. The doll likes to change up her colour and keep her hair sheened up lol. No big deal

Nesha
Nesha
9 years ago

It’s a freaking collector’s doll from the Bronner Bros hair show! What’s the big freaking deal?

Angelina
Angelina
9 years ago

Hell to the fucking NO, would I buy that crap for a kid.

But, to each their own…

Barbara
Barbara
9 years ago

AND? I’ve run out of hands counting the sisters IN REAL LIFE walking around with tacky “extensions”, why the shock and awe when “our” tacky behavior and trends are noticed????? *SHRUG*

Phylama
9 years ago

Is Beyonce wearing blonde wigs offensive? Is Nicki Minaj wearing pink wigs offensive? Is that girl walking down the street wearing a pink and blue weave offensive? I’ve seen many black girls with all types of different hair colors, be it pink, blonde green, even blue and purple. I don’t see what’s the big deal about a damned doll having some damned extensions. It’s up to the parents to instill values into children, not toys. There are all types of dolls with all types of hair colors. It’s just something fun for little girls to play with. Everything doesn’t have… Read more »

Sembene
Sembene
9 years ago

I’m choosing not to think about this. Many dolls have come with extensions. This company is trying to sell dolls by designing them to reflect what is seen/embraced in the community. It doesn’t rep the black community, merely the choices of a portion. Not going to think about this a moment longer than it deserves. Waiting for some gorgeous dolls with all manner of natural hairstyles. I’m in my 30s and I’ll buy those because I’ve been waiting for dolls that reflect the beauty I saw in my community my whole life.

Ellie
Ellie
9 years ago

This doll really and truly should not offend anybody. Before you bite my head off, let me explain why. All of you have CHOSEN to be natural in the same way that many other women have CHOSEN to wear weaves. If a blonde weave is what makes a woman feel comfortable, who are we to condemn them for that decision and call them ‘tacky’? I wear weaves as a protective hairstyle. That doesn’t make me some black woman who is ‘uncomfortable with their identity and happy to follow the euro-centric vision of beauty’. Erm no. I don’t think so. I… Read more »

Fatty B.
9 years ago

I voted no, simply because I don’t like the idea of buying any daughter of mine a “Barbie”. If my (nonexistent) child is into doing hair and experimenting with all that arena has to offer, I would buy her one of those big mannequin heads to practice with & some cheap clip ons.

Tanya
Tanya
8 years ago
Reply to  Fatty B.

Yup.

Zeesmama
Zeesmama
9 years ago

Ha! You all may argue all you want, but I know there is a mom in SW ATL or PG county saying:“And look girl she got blonde extensions too!”

Tanya
Tanya
8 years ago
Reply to  Zeesmama

LOL! SO true!

ForcedSimile
ForcedSimile
9 years ago

Why buy this tacky Barbie doll when I can buy a nicer black Barbie doll? Just saying…

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
8 years ago

I was never a Barbie fan, so I’d be walking by this either way.

b.
b.
8 years ago

Late to the party…

But can somebody tell me why the Barbie has a small child with her? Did the other dolls in the series have a smaller sister/daughter, or just this one?

Ce Ce
Ce Ce
8 years ago

When I was little I collected international Barbies. I loved having Barbies dressed in native clothes from China, Spain, and Scotland to name a few. I had beach Barbie and teacher Barbie. I looked at this Barbie and said wow now there is ghetto Christy! Oh, and by the way the black Barbie is named Christy! Does this mean that Trailer Park Barbie is in production now. Wow.. oh, Wow!!

Grace
8 years ago

I personally think the Black Barbie’s hair pieces are NOT as relevant as we want them to be. Barbie has always been under debate: some think “she” was an icon, both for style and the empowerment of young girls (in showing them endless career choices), while others say the character was a slap in the face of feminism and female body image because she is not anatomically correct. I still think I would have my child/nieces/cousins play with her because as a child, 98% of MY Barbies were white. There was no variation in color in the 90s, which is a… Read more »

SJF
SJF
8 years ago
Reply to  Grace

There were plenty of AA Barbies in the 90s, I know I had them.

Tanya
Tanya
8 years ago

I do not let my daughter play with Barbie dolls, but it has nothing to do with the race of the doll. She is only 5, and I don’t want her focusing on some of the ideals that Barbie represents/reflects. I don’t mind dolls, regardless of the race, but not Barbie, the Bratz, or anything of that ilk. I know that Barbie is not quite the same as the Bratz, but the grown-up girl/woman thing is just too much for a child, in my opinion.

Lauren
Lauren
8 years ago

Ive seen many people with blonde extensions (that didnt match their hair). I used to use oil sheen. So for some black folk its spot on! LOL. I dont think its that big of deal. They cant fit every aspect of every black woman in one barbie. So they just chose one. You shouldnt get mad because they chose one that you dont like.

Jezebel
Jezebel
8 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

Very well put!

katie
katie
8 years ago

I’m so happy that most of the votes “no” in the poll.

Erin
Erin
8 years ago

Although the blonde extensions and can of oil sheen seems a bit stereotypical…Its what most of us do as black women. Yes we do use oil sheen to keep our hair soft, fresh, and smelling good and also to keep it moisturized! Why front for the white people. I have several cans of different brands in my beauty box. I spray my own daughters’ hair with oil sheens and braid sprays, etc. I would allow my 5 year old to play with the doll I dont see too much wrong with it. The white dolls have multi colored hair extensions…so… Read more »

dawn
dawn
8 years ago
Reply to  Erin

thank you. not only that, but i’m sure these ppl who are like “no” didn’t notice that the kelly doll has a pink streak in her hair…but no one’s saying she’s projecting a bad or eurocentric image because *gasp* there’s no ppl group on this planet that naturally comes with pink hair. so my thing is, why react negatively to the blonde hair but not to the pink, when both are unnatural for black women and one is unnatural for humans, period? tongue in cheek there. ppl read too much into things.

Ebncurly
Ebncurly
8 years ago

I don’t like this doll — Its important that young girls love and accept what is God given.

If you haven’t seen the A Girl Like Me (link below) — it shows why these things are important. Young Black children show preferences for White dolls and relate positive things to them BUT they identify bad things with the Black dolls.…… and themselves.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1091431409617440489

…and for those who said “we use” oil sheen or weave — not all of us do or ever have.

real human hair
8 years ago

Fantastic website. A lot of helpful information here. I am sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you to your effort!

nikki
nikki
8 years ago

just bought thIs for my little girl.…. guess what???????? MOMMY WEARS WIGS AND WEAVE!!!!!!!!!9 TIMES OUT OF 10.…YOU DO TOO!!!!! EVEN WHEN WE ARE WEARING GODDESS BRAIDS,BOX BRAIDS, DREADS,AFROS,CORNROWS, AND OTHER AFROCENTRIC WE ARE USING…SAY IT WITH ME„„WEAVE!!!!!!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/images‑1.jpg[/img]

Moneett-Marel
Moneett-Marel
8 years ago

I think this SIS doll is cute. I would totally let my daughter have one. There’s no harm here.

kelia
8 years ago

i am not trying to be races but barbies dolls dosent have any black dolls.thats why i like Bratz

neffynef
neffynef
8 years ago

http://talkingwithtami.com/stacy-mcbridedesigner-for-barbie
Yes my granddaughters could have a SIS Barbie!

Shanese
Shanese
8 years ago

I have no problem being open that I wear a weave from time to time or that I braid my hair etc. The problem I have is the Matel company reproducing a stereotype towards blacks. Ive seen this doll in stores and there is no caucasian barbie that has pink hair and golden blonde hair extensions with oil sheen unlike their other Barbie. I just found it a little racist when they couldn’t portray other races in the same light as they do in their other doll lines. I wouldn’t feel comfortable spending my money on such a product.

Tabatha
Tabatha
7 years ago

I’m not surprised. Its a little stereotypical, but they are doing what they see and think its a good idea. Maybe we should bring it to their attention, that black women find it racist and that maybe they should make other race barbies as well or maybe ask them to yank it off the shelfs altogether. I am not offended by it, it is what it is and 9 times out of 10 the weave and extension extra’s will get lost like everything else. I use the little color chalk to put pink in my hair and its because I… Read more »

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Chachamusicgirl
7 years ago

I wouldn’t let my child play with that thing. It looks ghetto and ratchet like it went shopping on Jamaica avenue in New York.

Chachamusicgirl
7 years ago

And why the hell would they include blonde extensions with a black doll. You can’t tell me they don’t know that is not the norm in the black community. At least not naturally.

happy gateway
7 years ago

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Capowers2002
Capowers2002
6 years ago

This doll is something you would by as a joke gift for a group of adults. Like Oreo Barbie. Yes. It really exists.
You would NOT buy this for a child. Nothing about this doll stimulates positive self image (without altering your natural appearance), and learning to love yourself is very important for little girls period. As an adult it is absolutely fine to wear extensions and what not. But children need to learn how to celebrate the beauty they were born with. Bottom line: this doll is good for an adult gag gift and nothing else.

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