Happy Friday Ladies!
A post over at KisforKinky got me to thinking about dolls from my childhood. Crazy right? Her original post was about grown women who want to adopt Barbie’s plastic personna (a certain Ms. Menage comes to mind). Growing up, I maybe had one or two blond Barbies. I was more so in to baby dolls, rather than barbie. My mother only bought me Black dolls. My father’s mother bought me a blond haired, blue eyed baby doll for Christmas one year, at the time I loved it, but she was no more special than the Barbie I shunned. Another Christmas, I received a brown faced Baby Alive doll with the same hair as blond babies, expect that this doll’s hair was short, curly and jet black. She was my pride and joy. The last dolls I remember having was the Kenya doll. Did anyone else have one?
Well I had two! Kenya came in two colors, a cinnamon brown and chocolate brown! Her clothes were made of kente inspired clothe and she came with beaded, braided hair! Her hair texture was still that of Barbie, sans the blond color, but it came from the same Yak.
Though I don’t play with Barbie or any doll as an adult, I still notice dolls that are advertised towards young Black girls. While it’s obvious that poor Yak is still being abused, I am pleasantly surprised at the more kinky textures that have been given to the Black doll. It’s much closer to a true likeness of a Black Woman. Italian Black Vogue did a 142 page spread, in tribute to Black Barbie! A simple Google search led me to several beautiful versions of Afro Barbie!
I bet Kenneth and Maime Clark’s famous Doll Experiments (abagond.wordpress.com has a great explanation of the experiments for those who are unfamiliar with them) would not have the same results today! More women are embracing their natural hair, thereby passing that acceptance and love on to their daughters, who pass it to their daughters. Hurray for self-love! God makes no mistakes! Right now, I have no children; I do, however, have young female cousins and sisters who I hope to inspire to love and accept themselves for who they are despite the pressures to go for the traditional Barbie look.
How do you encourage young women to accept and love themselves?