Toy Theory – Jordan Christensen

Posted: March 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

In Ann DuCilles article Toy Theory; she mainly focuses on the racial problems associated with Barbie. Mattel has created numerous African American Barbie’s, claiming to have altered their shape to better represent an African American body figure. But these dolls share the same body type as the original Barbie, only changing the color of her skin. Fortunately, in 2009, McBride designed a new Barbie for Mattel that displays dolls with fuller lips, wider noses and more pronounced cheek bones, (Leonard). This demonstrates a better effort by Mattel to address racial concerns, than in the past. But even though I believe Mattel should still focus on creating Barbie’s that share different ethnicities, I still think there are major problems with the original Barbie. The original Barbie is designed as being very tall, with big-blue eyes, a big bust and a skinny waist. If Mattel created a Barbie that better represented a healthy weight, the tall skinny look that many girls idolize today may not be as dominant. Many girls that play with Barbie’s identify themselves with the doll. It is important to create a Barbie that radiates health and happiness instead of focusing on unattainable ‘beauty.’

  1. cs341blog says:

    Comment: Mackenzie McGraw-Yan

    i enjoyed reading your post and it made me think…

    I appreciate how Mattel has made an effort to make dolls more ethnically realistic, however before this issue is further tackled, I think Mattel should first work on creating a more realistic Barbie.. in terms of size proportions. Once this model is achieved I then think they should tackle the issue of race and promote a variety of racial ethnicities with their distinctive features. However, it is important that this is done in a tasteful way and that the creators avoid stereotypes. Which makes me wonder, is it possible to portray a race (albeit in doll form) without reinforcing stereotypes?

  2. cs341blog says:

    Lexie Stevens
    I agree with your point there needs to a more realistic doll,because as we have seen before if we were to take barbies measurements and put them on some one real it would not be possible. Young girls really do identify themselves with the barbies and I don’t think that it is fair to be showing the girls an image that is unattainable. Also anyone despite their race should be able to go the store and see a doll that looks like them.

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