Little Girls and Barbies

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Little Girls and Barbie’s
Narisha T. Carr-Smalls
ECE405: Children and Families in a Diverse Society
Instructor: Richard Gaskill
February 24, 2012

Little Girls and Barbie’s
Most young girls favorite toy would be a Barbie doll, which was created by Ruth Handle in 1959. The doll was named after her daughter Barbara. Ruth handler created this doll to resonate with preteen girls of the Caucasian race. Parents made a fuss of the doll’s unrealistic body proportions. Barbie busty dimensions and tiny waist, that encourages young girls to diet, and for the worse to become anorexic. Another issue with the doll for African American children is that it gives them an identity issue. Now that they do make them of African American race, it’s just a Caucasian Barbie doll that they have colored black with Caucasian hair. The doll has no African American feature at all. “For decades, Barbie’s blond hair, blue eyes, wasp-thin waist and improbable curves have embodied American culture’s ludicrous yet deeply harmful beauty standards. These beauty standards are grounded in racist notions that associate whiteness with virtue and loveliness. When Mattel debuted black Barbie’s in the late 1960s, the dolls were essentially replicas of the original white Barbie with darker skin. Barbie’s idealized Anglo-Saxon facial features remained the same: a barely-there nose and rosebud mouth. The company would not update the doll’s features for another forty years. When they did, the Europeanized look of the new black Barbie’s remained problematic to some (Todd, S. 2012).” So it makes African American children ashamed of their hair and features. They now want the long straight hair instead of the beautiful kinky texture that they were given at birth and tons of make up. Barbie encourages unrealistic beauty for little girls.

With the hierarchy described in Vivian Gussin Paley’s book, Barbie is the blame for the “bosses” and the “Rejects.” That is said because young children...
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