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December 21st, 2011
01:13 PM ET

Barbie gets a natural hair makeover

By Claudia Morales, CNN

(CNN) - This holiday season, one group of women in Columbus, Georgia, decided to try a new, kinky hairstyle on one of pop culture's most enduring beauty icons: Barbie.

Using simple at-home methods, the Fro-lific meetup group turned the straight, shiny hair on 40 donated Barbies into natural-looking curls.The dolls went to girls living in a housing complex in Columbus - girls who might not have gotten the word that beauty isn't always tied to long, blond hair.

Fro-lific was organized by Layoce Mims and Candace McBride after they attended 'Fro Fashion Week in Atlanta. Their mission: provide support for women - and girls - who wear their hair natural. They plan to remake more Barbie styles in the future, Mims said.

Here's what Mims had to say about the group and its Barbie makeovers.

CNN: What is natural hair?

Mims: Natural hair is no relaxer, no chemical to straighten your hair out. The way it grows out your root, that’s the way you rock it.

CNN: What made you decide to start the Fro-lific meet-up group?

Mims: We thought to start the group after attending the 'Fro Fashion Week in Atlanta. We had such a great experience, so we were thinking of what can we do to bring back it back to Columbus. So, we thought to start a meet-up group to provide encouragement and support for other natural hair women or men. All the support seems to be online or on blogs, we thought, 'If you could really see someone going through it, and wearing their hair natural or transitioning, like being able to touch it, you can really see what they’re doing in person and it can encourage them to follow through with the natural process instead of going back to the relaxer.'

CNN: Why was it important to give the girls Barbie dolls with natural looking hair?

Mims: We have encountered some African-American or biracial children who have natural hair, getting picked on about the texture of their hair, how it wouldn’t lay or didn’t look or feel like the other children’s hair, so they didn’t love their hair and our job is to let them know that their hair is beautiful the way it is.

CNN: How did you know how to change the Barbie dolls hair?

Mims: Ms. McBride got the idea off blackgirllonghair.com and what they say to do is take the hair and twist it around pipe cleaner, then you dip it in boiling water and you just let it sit out and dry for a couple days and you untwist it off the pipe cleaner and it gives the hair a very curly, kinky look.

CNN: What do you think about the Barbie dolls that are sold in stores?

Mims: The Barbies in the stores have very long, straight hair, most are Caucasian, it’s hard to find black dolls with the dark eyes, and when we did get the dolls with the brown eyes, we thought it was important to take those dolls and change their hair so they do resemble more of a natural African-American hair.

Poll: Would you pay more for a doll of a specific race?

CNN: Why is it important for the girls to have dolls that look like them?

Mims: So they can have something to relate to, so they won’t idolize the dolls with straight hair that don’t look like them. They see the dolls with the curly hair they will accept their curly hair. They don’t want to wear their hair curly, the way God made it, they want it straight because that’s what they are seeing.

CNN: What was the response from the girls after you gave them the Barbie?

Mims: They loved it. You had the little girls holding up the dolls to their face and saying 'Oh, she looks like me.'

CNN: Did you wish someone did this for you when you were growing up?

Mims: Growing up , I probably had two Barbies, ever. My mom couldn’t afford it. She bought me two, they were white. I would have liked the doll to look like me so I could relate. I grew up wanting long hair because of what I was playing with, and what I was seeing and everyone around me had the same conception. If I had a doll that was black and curly hair, and not just a doll, but someone saying 'It’s OK for you to wear your hair natural,' I probably would have been more accepting of it before now.

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Filed under: Black in America • How we look • Pop culture • Women
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Jennifer Leitch

    Hi umm how do u dye a Barbie dolls hair??

    June 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lissa

    This was a beautiful idea and seeing those little girls smiling and happy made my day.

    September 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
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    April 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. itsmeandyoukid

    We are the internet's new blog for African American tweens and teens, The Fab Girls. Female and Black=FAB! Visit us at http://www.thefabgirls.wordpress.com, follow us on Twitter @thefabgirldaily.
    We are so encouraged by this. Barbie is a brand that little girls identify beauty with, and it's good to see this company celebrate the differences that make our girls unique but equally pretty.

    February 2, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. kristlsmithtyler

    Try this link: http://playbarbies.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/custom-rotini-or-halo-hair/

    January 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kristlsmithtyler

    Please check out the original tutorial for this technique at playbarbies dot wordpress dot com;. I applaud these ladies efforts but the hair could have turned out better. I notice a lot of not-so-tight curls. Follow the oringinal tutorial for better results.

    January 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. justin case

    It is just amazing to me to see all these comments from people who probably are "educated", but are still so ignorant. Too many of the comments seem to focus on race like we live in a country where only one race is represented. If anything, Americans should be more tolerant than any other country when it comes to race relations. It just does not make sense to be prejudice when every single nationality on the face of the earth is represented in this country we call America. Every single nationality in this country has experienced some form of segregation including "whites" when entering this country in the 1800's. If you were an olive toned Italian, Greek, etc you were not classified as the same kind of "white" like a Scot or Dutch. Every nationality needs to get off their high horses and remember that we are all people just trying to live and survive in this world. There are alot more things to be concerned about than to jump on others about race. If someone wants to wear his or hair straight or curly or whatever, that is his or her business. Do we make evil comments about young white girls when they dye their hair blond when they are brunettes? Of course not because that is what society wants. How about when plastic surgery and the host of other things people do in the eyes of beauty? Come on people, if you are going to bark on one race, don't be a respector of persons, bark on ALL of them.

    January 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Erica

    http://www.iplehouse.net/shop/step1.php?number=2411
    http://www.iplehouse.net/shop/step1.php?number=1949
    Forget barbies, ABJDs are the way to go!

    January 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Erica

    So, I totally hated dolls (esp) barbie until at the ripe age of 19 I discovered Asian Ball Jointed Dolls! They're Korean and their black/tan/white and asian dolls BLOW away anything in our country. Maybe dolls look like they do because they are cheap and not usually high quality. I was teased a lot about my hair, my skin color, my lips etc. I'm not entirely sure a doll would have made things easier tho, but these dolls do tend to make their owners happy and that's a pretty big deal
    http://www.iplehouse.net/shop/step1.php?number=1949
    http://www.iplehouse.net/shop/step1.php?number=2411

    January 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kit Kat

    When i read this article, i thought about how it really didnt seems news worthy to me. Sometimes i think the "black card" gets played way too much in America...but when I watched the video, i realized...its all about those little girls and they look happy. Self esteem is very important.

    January 10, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • moe smith

      impressive that you actually gleaned something from this. Maybe there is hope...

      January 10, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. tha truth

    All this Barbie bashing.. so harsh. I guess its terrible to want to be skinny, fashionable, attractive and active. What a horrible message to send to kids.

    We should be selling people of walmart dolls instead. Then we can finish what McDonalds started and turn the entire country into barely mobile slugs wearing pajama pants and uggs out and about.

    January 10, 2012 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Xgirl360

      Barbie is not natural, even for a thin woman. Take a look at this picture from a BBC news story and you'll see why women have been bashing on Barbie.

      January 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. okiejan

    I think it's about time that little girls and little boys can have a doll that resembles them and not always the blond, blue-eyed version.

    January 10, 2012 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sonali

    I would like to write a tv show called "in their shoes." And each episode would focus on several hardships one particular culture faces everyday. So then, people would really begin to realize the sensitivities every person faces being who they are. I can understand an African-American child growing up in a society that celebrates only fair skin, straight shinny hair and blue eyes feeling not beautiful. If every doll in China had an afro and was dark skinned. And every figure on television and magazines also had an afro and dark skin and was portrayed as the most beautiful, then I would think a Chinese child would also look in a mirror and try to adjust themselves to that particular standard of beauty. That is why it is so important to instill self confidence in kids at such a young age because I know if I had a dark-skinned child with very curly hair one day say "mommy, I want to be white when I grow up" it would break my heart. Hearing a child at such a young age reject herself because she's not celebrated the way she is signals to me that her self confidence has already been damaged.

    January 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mamaof3

    I have 3 biracial (black/white) daughters, and it is true, there are no dolls out there with curls, at all. One of my daughters shuns the hispanic or black dolls, and always wants the blond dolls. ( and if you are thinking that is because she is looking for a doll like her mama, you would be wrong, as I have auburn hair.) I am not really sure why that is, but I am thinking that it is because most of the disney princesses are white and blond. She likes Tianna from Princess and the frog, okay. It would be nice to find dolls coming in a broader range of hair types. Even white people have hair that is not straight, i.e. wavy or curly. On a technical note, though, you have to keep in mind that little girls LOVE brushing their dollies hair, and straight her is going to be the best for that, and ever their hair gets ratty. My oldest daughter is very fair skinned with perfect spiral curls and was sad that she couldn't get an American Girl doll that looked like her, but I pointed out to her that I couldn't make an AG that looked like myself either. They have only one shade of red hair that looks almost blond. I also told her that being different is great! I used to hate having red hair, fair skin, and freckles, but now I embrace it. It is ME.

    January 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • kristlsmithtyler

      Mama of 3 – Please check my website playbarbies.wordpress.com – it gives you all kinds of techniques for helping your daughter see that being a SWIRL GIRL is AWESOME!!

      January 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • leah

      i love how you show your girls our differences make us stronger. i was teased for being obne of the only african american girl with freckles as a kid. i think all girls want to play with a doll be it barbie, my scene, or bratz, that resembles them.

      January 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • leah

        excuse my typo. i meant one of the

        January 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nocarenomore

    It'll be good to drop all the standards for making everybody look like white men to succeed. Let's all be natural, but then of course the white men will see that as a way to put all the nappy-headed, short, fat, gay, lesbian, ethnic people in their places, which is menial work.

    January 8, 2012 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  16. K.Smith

    How sweet of them to go to so much effort! I would have loved a natural hair Barbie when I was little. My first Barbie was black but my mother her to go to the U.S. to find her.

    January 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  17. not too phat

    Lisangel, U just don't get it. Blacks R not a monolithic group. There R rich Blacks, poor Blacks & everything in between. Not all Blacks have a natural hair hangup nor do they feel that they have a need 2 express themselves through their hair. Some actually believe they can compete successfully through their intellegence or their business sense. Hair has nothing to do with anything. If U want to prove your Blackness through your hair, go right ahead. Understand that hair will not pay the bills.. It will not get U more respect. It will not make U more equal. Your hair choice does not prove that U R more Black than thoes who choose 2 wear their hair straight. It doesn't make U more aware of your Blackness than those who don't wear the natural look. The only people making money out of this non-issue R the hairdressers who charge an arm & a leg to braid or twist your natural hair. Why not get rid of the hairdresser & truly go natural. In fact why comb your hair at all. Just keepin it real.

    December 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisangela

      Oh I get it. You just proved my point. You're saying your natural hair makes you less employable. You're probably right, but as long as the image of black natural hair is a rare one because the majority of women feel like they have to hide it, that will always be true. For the record, I don't have braids or twists and just went natural a few months ago. I have a neatly cut, natural style and still people that don't know me, look at me differently. I can feel it. But it's worth it to me to be true to myself.

      December 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Not too phat

        You are too narrowly focused. This is not about employment. It's about choice. I can't believe you would let a non-issue control your actions or cause you to feel good about yourself. You must have low self esteem. Just because you prefer short nappy hair, doesn't mean you have to inflict your views on everybody else. You're not proving any point by wearing your hair natural. Does your hair somehow make you a "strong black woman?" Are you saying "I'm defiant by wearing my hair like this?" Exactly what are you trying to say by wearing your hair natural?

        December 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Not too phat

        Yes, I went there. Sometimes you just have to go ghetto to get your point across to some people.

        December 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisangela

      I stated my opinion and shared a personal story. I did not try to inflict anything on anyone. You are way too upset by the issue for someone who thinks none of it matters. Sounds like you have some issues of your own to work out but they bear no relevance to anything I've said here. My statement is in fact that I do like myself and my hair just like millions of women do now and more every day The only thing we are defying is self-hatred. Peace. You definitely need it.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Not too phat

        Your ignorance is astounding.

        December 24, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
      • Miss Simms

        I agree with lisangela. The real question for Not too Phat is, "how do your feel about your natural hair?. How would you feel about yourself if you didn't relax your hair?" You said that hair has nothing to do with anything. All women know that that's not true. If our hair doesn't look good – we don't look good. Most of us spend a lot of time and money on our hair. Just 3 months ago, I decided to let my hair grow natural – mostly because the chemicals have made it unhealthy over the years. And I was sick of spending so much money and spending hours in the salon. And now, it occurs to me that I haven't really seen my natural hair in 15 years. And I've been conditioned by society to believe that my natural hair was "bad hair." I work in a professional environment and never thought I could progress in the same way professionally without a relaxer. But now that I'm learning about natural hair, I'm really excited about it. And I'm starting to love my real hair for the first time. And I'm noticing lots of other black women everywhere with natural hair. I never noticed it before. I hope more people do it. I hope more people embrace their natural hair texture instead of chemically altering to make it look like "good hair." Not Too Phat, you should Google a video on You Tube called Why I Went Natural: Hair Story and also check out how beautiful her hair is.

        January 10, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Ruthie

      As I am reading your post it sounds as if you have a hang up about hair yourself. No one is saying you shouldn't be proud of a perm or $1200 straight wig or weave shaved from some other woman's natural hair (preferably Indian hair). Obviously hair is associated with some level of confidence. I am sure if you walked into a job interview with your hair uncombed (straight or curly) the interviewer wouldn't take you serious which means you could lose that job opportunity. The point is that for women who accept beauty based on the white women standard (as it has been for years) women who do not have naturally straight hair should be confident enough to recognize their own natural beauty without having to alter it to mimic someone else's standards. This is a lesson of being proud of who you are inside as well as out and yes young black girls should be taught to accept their natural hair as an included option for beauty standards. Intelligence is great but even the intelligent take pride in their outer appearance. Don't be so angry at the women who are developing a community of young girls and women to understand their roots through their natural beauty. If you want to wear your hair straight then do that no one is saying you are wrong for doing that and if you wear a wig or weave or go to a hair stylist then you are contributing to the economy and that should not be deterred. I love my natural hair and I love wearing it straight and pressed when I don't feel like dealing with the maintenance. Celebrate your beauty any way you want and let the natural hair community continue its teaching of appreciating what your are born with.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • The-Dad

      The only reason why I think you talk like this is because you have no kids who are African American. When you understand the dilemma these kids have growing up having to think white barbies with straight hair is the symbol of beauty then you will understand the problems that girls face because its constantly shoved in their face in every corner. What this does is that it stunts their confidence level, their ability to be naturally creative and makes them insecure of themselves.These things are important to girls as they grow, its also important that they feel beautiful, its part of their nature and a good thing.

      January 8, 2012 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  18. bcx

    While these women want to promote Barbie dolls to reflect a positive image towards young black girls, they should also work on promoting health, diet, and exercise. Did you see how big a few of the women were in this video?!!! Most of the kids were chunky too! 4 in 5 black women in America are obese…not overweight, OBESE. Do your research and see for yourself. It's great and all to showcase dolls that look like black little girls, but seriously, it's time for the black community to work on their health. We all don't have to be a size 0 or 2, but being a size 14 or larger can no longer be the norm.

    December 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Racquel

      It's such a cop out when white people or people for that matter try to go on the attack about black womens weight. It's funny if you all had to deal with even half of the discriminatory issues we dealt with you couldn't handle it. YES we are obese you know why...and listen up this isn't in the history book your ancestors wrote for us all to read -It's because of oppression. It's because of constantly being held down and told that you are not good enough...being hated by your own men and community.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Ruthie

      Why can't we stick to the subject at hand. We are talking about hair. Obesity is not just an African-American problem it is an American problem. This is a beauty subject not a weight subject. People with derogatory comments about the hair are truly missing the point. This is about building confidence in a minority community that has been taught that what they look like is not acceptable and in order to mend well into society we must accept the majority's standard. Black people more than anyone will either recognize or admit have to accommodate white people's comfort almost all of the time. Let us have this conversation about hair. We are not putting down anybody when talking about natural hair we are simply teaching confidence within our community. Self-esteem can tie into weight issues. It is funny when black people start and try to build themselves up with some kind of pride it is perceived as some slight of hand offense to someone else and then we are scrutinized for even trying by both whites, blacks, and other non-whites. It is a very interesting dichotomy.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  19. john

    Do the dolls come with afro sheen ?

    December 23, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  20. not too phat

    These women r guilty of the same bigotry they accuse Mattel of. No black woman should have to appologize 2 anyone for prefering 2 wear her hair straight and long. This absurdity ranks right up there with "Blacks who prefer white meat on their turkey or chicken must also prefer whites people over black people." (true story) Who r these people who r trying to define how all Blacks should be? This is a new day. During the civil rights era many Blacks in the South had 2 pull together 4 a common cause. Today it's all about making money. You need 2 live your liife & stop being the "What it means 2 be Black" police. No one person can speak 4 all Blacks anymore.

    December 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisangela

      It's not bigotry to recognize that the majority of women that choose to wear their hair straight don't actually have straight hair and are doing so for reasons that are much deeper than a fashion choice. The civil rights movement was about fighting for acceptance of the race as the race actually is, not the "freedom" to assimilate and subjugate one's own natural beauty.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Ruthie

      I don't think that they are speaking for all blacks. What they are speaking to are the many black women who fight who they really are by accepting a 400 year plus standard of beauty. Wear your hair straight if you like. What they are teaching is confidence in what you already have and then sure if you are proud of your natural hair then it is nothing to go to straight or weave or a wig. All the people who are reading it that way obviously have some other underlining issue. It comes across as if your being made to feel guilty for accepting the current standard of beauty. You don't have to feel bad about your hair choice, whatever that may be but your comments and the others who are misunderstanding the message probably have some issues with yourself otherwise you wouldn't be so offended. I decided to go natural after seeing how beautiful my hair really is but I would wear a wig or weave if I wanted to because I am even confident when my hair is not combed because I recognize there is more to me but appearance is everything even if we like to pretend that it isn't.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  21. George

    Most 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.

    December 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Informingyou

      George,

      That's the issue right there. Instead of being natural, which are how most little black girls hair is, all they see is hair that is straightened by a relaxer or flat iron. The point is, they shouldn't grow up feeling the need to straighten their hair, but instead they should grow up feeling like how they were born is perfectly fine. As a black child, i couldn't wait to relax (perm/straighten) my hair because that was all I seen. So it makes you feel like that's how you should be. Now years later I'm all natural and loving it. The point is the next generations get to grow up seeing them in the stores and feeling good about their hair.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • George

        lol....

        OK.....It is Barbies fault that Michelle Obama proudly wars straight hair.

        December 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisangela

      I agree with you that the first lady could be an example for people by wearing her hair natural. So could Oprah for that matter – but the reality of our culture is that if they had, Obama would never have been elected and Oprah would not be media mogul.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  22. nerp

    Well damn.

    December 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  23. George

    Since we are increasinlgly becoming a fragmented weak nation of minority whiners and babies who are conditioned to be offended, why not make fatty obese barbie dolls so the fat kids can relate to. Then make an anorexic one.. then make some lesbian ones.. then make disabled ones... then make some midget ones (oops, I mean veritically challenged) ... on and on... This country is going down the tubes... We will never be as strong as we once were.

    December 22, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • TRUTH

      You missed the point George. The point is to make barbies that LOOK more "natural" as in being disabled, being a midget etc...these would be absolutely natural. However, being obese, anorexic is NOT natural and therefore making a barbie obese or anorexic could be seen as promoting being unhealthy and I'm sure you're aware, Americans need not be anymore unhealthy. Furthermore, you can't make anything "look" lesbian so that comment was just plain stupid. Do good Americans a favor, and don't procreate. Thanks 🙂

      December 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • George

        You could make Barbie dolls look lesbian. You could sell them as a pair and have one of them "Butch" looking. So you are wrong.

        December 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisangela

      Our strength was a fallacy, built on the pursuit of hollow, empty ambition. If our foundation was ever really strong, we would still have it.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • I'm Asian

      lol!

      December 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      You sir are purposefully being a Troll. And you know it. Im laughing at how they dont know you. You do understand. It's about showing kids that they are beautiful how they are. Anorexics are a disease; there is no lesbian look; and fat and midget dolls would be awesome.

      January 4, 2012 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • kristlsmithtyler

      I am actually doing just that. I am building a barbieland for my daughter that has thick dolls, a wheelchair doll and members of the LGBT community. It's really great. Anyone who wants to see can visit playbarbies.wordpress.com – I agree with you George – any barbieland should have all of these things.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Madtown

    This is pretty fun news. But, why stop there? Give her a bigger set of cans.

    December 22, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  25. tiffany

    As an educator I just have to point out that the times have changed. It is proven that children, maybe not all but some, are affecred by what they see and play with. If all they see are white dolls with blonde hair and blue eyes, then they are going to think that is what they are supposed to look like. They need to feel like they are represented. And not everyone can go out to the store and buy ethnic barbie dolls. What they are doing is great. There are different ways of `cleaning up` the neighborhoods and they are starting with the children. By making them feel accepted and special now they are helping to prevent problems later. Oh and to all you haters out there, GET OVER YOURSELF! We are all special and unique.

    December 22, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  26. Alice

    There are plenty of dolls that have African American appearance. Mattel are not the only ones that make nice dolls. So it's not really a big deal. Embraiss your own beauty and your children will do the same.

    December 22, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  27. Max

    Isn't the non-white dolls hair just a reflection of society? It seems to my eyeballs when traveling around the country that MOST black women fix their hair so that it is straight including Michelle Obama..Obama does not have an afro and neither does Oprah.

    So what is the crying about barbie? That barble dolls are making black kids not have a natural hair and brainwashing them to have straight hair like white women? Makes no damn sense.

    December 22, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Kimbers

      If you really want some insight into this, I recommend Chris Rock's film "Good Hair". Very few people outside of the black community know what it takes to straighten hair. BTW, the part with the white chemist and Chris Rock is priceless.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • GossipGal

      Max, you are right but this is the point, we (myself being a black woman over the age of 30) have grown up in a society were long straight hair is more accepted, and considered beautiful. Afro hair, not so much, so all the ladies you mentioned have grown up believing the same.. this ia about making a change for the future.....

      January 12, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  28. vinceParee

    These people have too much time on their hands. Instead of playing with baby dolls hair as adults why dont they focus on cleaning up their neighborhoods and themselves. And this is typical of CNN to have an entire section of their website that is nothing but whining and crying from minorities. But this one takes the cake... conntecting Baby doll hair and race!!?!?!?!? lol...

    December 22, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Informingyou

      Vince,

      No one in this article was whining or crying. They were taking action. They took the time out of their schedule to do something special for childern in need. They didn't just buy doll's but they worked on them to make them look like childern. You will probably never understand because you have not walked in there shoes. Which is fine, but you don't have to be little this important gesture!

      December 22, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jeff

        Agreed totally! Hair politics for the black community is such a deep issue that to hear about the little girls loving their dolls with natural hair that reflects them sounds so cute! Keep up the good work, girls!

        December 26, 2011 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Justice

      Really? sounds to me like you have too much time on your hands... and how about instead of sitting in your chair typing some hateful remarks, you go and clean YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD... which im sure you dont do ... Get a life and grow up; these are children who were content with this noble action to let kids appreciate who they are. And whose not to say they dont have jobs and are taking time off and volunteering to do this for these children. How about you get off your lazy ass and do something for YOUR COMMUNITY.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  29. SHANNA BANG

    I REALLY LOVE THIS DOLL'S HAIR.IT IS CUTE AND I THINK THAT KEN WILL LOVE IT ALOT.

    December 22, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  30. I'm Asian

    and I had the blackest baby doll with huge eyes and i loved her. she didnt have the same complexion or hair but i dont think as a CHILD i would necesarrily care too much -__- bad parenting skills not Mattell's or anyone elses

    December 22, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Informingyou

      Growing up, i had black and white dolls. It's not necessarily bad parenting, but it's what is in the childerns face all day every day. Besides I"m sure you had more than just that one little black doll.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • I'm Asian

        No i really had one black doll lol and it didnt even have hair at that lol. It stupid parents who take things to the next level..

        December 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Elizabeth

    I think this is a great gesture. No, I don't think children should have to have a Barbie doll that repesents their uniqueness and beauty, but sometimes it isn't about that. Many people go out and spends hundreds of dollars getting personalized "American Girl" dolls that look like their children and even have a matching outfit. What's so wrong with wanting to give that same gift to a child who looks up to Barbie as the face of beauty? Again, I think this is great, and I hope the little girls who received those Barbies find more joy in their hearts than some of the comments here! Oh, and by the way, I'm white, my husband is white, and my children are white...and we don't use the word "ghetto" in our home. Everybody is beautiful in their own unique way. Have some class, folks!

    December 22, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  32. Cool, I suppose.

    The black "barbie" that I had growing up didn't have straight hair. Hers was unruly curly hair (actually came that way) and I loved it. She was part of the Barbie and the Rockers set. Dee Dee.
    I'm white, and Barbie doesn't "represent" me. I'm not blonde, not blue-eyed, I had ZERO boobs and bad teeth. I also wasn't sitting around hating my Barbie for being skinny and beautiful with perfect teeth. And if your kid is doing that you should probably seek some counseling for them. There is clearly something else going on.
    I see everyone so sick of the "unrealistic body type and look" of Barbie. Well, I'm sick of stupid adults who try to thrust their insecurities on a doll.
    Get over it.
    As a parent you should be teaching your child their self worth – not leaving it to a toy.

    December 22, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Look deeper.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Informingyou

      Your right about one thing and that's teaching your child self worth. But there is nothing wrong with what these women did for these childern.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisangela

      You don't get it because you've never had to endure the collective effect of being told in various ways (both overt and subliminal) that you, as a race, are not good enough as you naturally are. It's ingrained in the culture. We even have people on this very board defending their right to wear straight hair when the straight hair they are wearing is probably a weave imported from Asia. Black men shave their heads and black women choose to wear hair that's not their own or destroy itheir own with chemicals. All so our appearance is more palatable to the mainstream. It's sad.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  33. Deadra

    Check the Barbie section at Target & W-Mart. Mattel has those model Barbies that cover about every cosmetic look. I own several very ethnical-looking Black Barbies. I been collecting/playing with All types and colors since the early 70's! (My blue collar Africa-American childhood)

    December 22, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
    • really

      You still play with dolls? That's disturbing.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Melissa

    have u seen this?

    December 22, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  35. Marletta Gamble

    It's about time!

    December 22, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  36. Houstonian

    I think it's awesome that someone would take the time to makeover a doll that should look like the little girls playing with it. That being said, I had Barbie dolls as a kid. All of them blue eyed blondes with waist length hair. I'm white with blue eyes and blonde hair and I gotta tell you, Barbie in no way represents me. I will never be tall, willowy and my white girl hair will never be as shiney or straight as Barbie's. It's too bad that so many girls of ALL races look up to an exaggeration of feminine beauty. Why can't someone make a doll that is more realistic in body shape and hair? I would love to see a 'fashion' doll that has a natural Afro. I'd love to see one that doesn't have exaggerated features of any type. C'mon Mattel, make a realistic 'fashion' doll.

    December 22, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  37. c416jack

    Ignorance is bliss and is usually the excuse. Now that you know natural is better/beautiful, embrace it with open arms. In today's society our life styles do enough damage, so not only can we eat better for bodies. We can go natural for the health of our hair. So for all the marketing lies from decades past, natural lasts a lot longer and looks a lot better. Teach your kids to be proud of what hair they have. Mom couldn't do it, but my aunt did it for me. My sister does for my daughter, pass it on.

    December 21, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Elle B.

    My hair complex probably came from my Grandma- who insisted corporate America is way more accepting of "tame" ethnic hair. I decided to go the healthy route and kick my relaxer habit 4months ago...it's a huge change and your average non-black american doesn't seem to get what a huge movement this is. For Black people to finally learn to accept the beauty of our own natural features. I would definitely pay to give my little niece a doll that reps her own unique beauty.

    December 21, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  39. beautiful idea

    I agree very creative art!!

    December 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  40. JZZZZWOW

    CREATIVE ART

    December 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  41. beautiful idea

    These dolls can help our african american daughters feel like the little Princesses they are:)

    December 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  42. jen

    I think that is so awesome! mattel should already be making them that way! EVERY LITTLE GIRL DESERVES TO FEEL BEAUTIFUL! no matter her age weight race or hairstyle! I think natural fros happen to be great, I happen to be white but if I werent I would love to rock a fro!

    December 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Come on

    All of our barbies (no matter what their hair color) all ended up with "natural" hair after playing with them a bit 🙂

    December 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Revolution

      Yep

      January 16, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  44. Godwin

    Its unfortunate that a dolls hair that is fashioned closley to black and bi-racial groups is considered "Ghetto". This sad chatter is from those who love to continue white supremacy.

    December 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Rod in Dallas TX

    So basically, they created ghetto Barbie?

    December 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ayisha Green

      Excuse me??? "Ghetto Barbie" ? No, they are making dolls that African American Girls can look up to.....

      December 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • KHill

      So if it's not blonde straight hair and blue eye'd, it's considered ghetto? You need your head checked, your level of ignorance is ridiculous and sad.

      December 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim Cherry

      wow really....ghetto....smh...wow...really????????????

      December 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |