.
New doll line aims to empower girls of all races
Kimani, Valencia and Dahlia are multicultural dolls created by former Barbie designer Stacey McBride-Irby.
February 10th, 2012
10:41 AM ET

New doll line aims to empower girls of all races

By Sarah Springer, CNN

(CNN) – When Stacey McBride- Irby, a long-time Barbie lover and designer, noticed that her 4-year-old daughter wasn’t playing with dolls, she became concerned.   

“As a little girl my Barbie dolls were all Caucasian. But, that didn’t really bother me because I was looking at her as my fantasy world. She was the actress, she was in soap operas, she was getting dressed up to go to a party,” McBride-Irby said. “But times are changing.”

McBride-Irby realized at age 13 that she had a passion for doll design, and years later, she made it her career.

While working for Mattel, she created designs for Barbie and the iconic doll’s friends, Disney princesses, rock star Barbies and her own innovation, “So In Style” Barbie, a line that features African-American Barbies that that resemble those of black women - different skin tones, fuller lips, one doll with curlier hair.

Her “So In Style” creations will be shown with some unique hairstyles at the Bronner Bros. Hair Show in Atlanta this month, but after 15 years, McBride-Irby is now on to another adventure: Her own doll company.

Last year, she began working on the One World Doll Project with business partner Trent Daniel. The company creates multicultural dolls as a way to promote positive self-images and empowerment for young women and girls of color.

The company launched with two collector’s dolls that support Barack Obama’s 2012 election, and the company will be selling more multicultural dolls, called Prettie Girls, this fall. There's Lena, an African-American; Valencia, a Latina; Kimani, an African; Dahlia, a Middle Eastern doll and Alexie, a white doll.

Barbie gets a natural hair makeover

“The One World Doll Project is not only offering African-American dolls, but dolls of color around the world,” McBride-Irby said. “My dolls are going to have real stories, making girls feel more positive in their self-image.”

McBride-Irby and Daniel said they’ll feature the dolls in music videos, on national tours and a TV show that is set to star and be produced by former “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” actress Tatyana Ali.

Here is what McBride-Irby had to say about the company and the new line of dolls.

CNN: How did you get started designing dolls for Mattel?

Stacey McBride-Irby: As a little girl Barbie was my favorite doll. She actually inspired me to become a fashion designer. Soon after I stopped playing with dolls I started researching fashion and that’s when I realized that I could be a doll designer. I interviewed with Mattel, where one of the first African-American doll designers interviewed me, and I was hired as her assistant.

 CNN: Are there many of women of color in the industry?

 McBride-Irby: No. And maybe that’s where the lack of (African-American dolls) comes from-others not knowing how to represent African-American doll design. So, that’s why I think Mattel finally decided to let me take the reigns and create the “So In Style” line.

 CNN: What is “So In Style” and how did you start the line with Mattel?

McBride-Irby: I was asked to design the Alpha Kappa Alpha doll, which was honoring the first African-American sorority for their centennial year. I was so inspired by creating an African-American doll that had so much meaning, and that kind of pushed me to create the “So In Style” dolls. That, along with my daughter.

My daughter was around 4 at the time and I noticed she wasn’t playing with dolls as much as I did, and I’m wondering "What is going on with her?" So, I realized maybe it was because the doll didn’t look like her, or didn’t represent her. So, that also inspired me to pitch my concepts to Mattel.

CNN: There are people who criticized your “So In Style” line of dolls because you gave them straight long hair instead natural curly looks. What are your thoughts on that?

McBride-Irby: When I was a little girl it didn’t bother me that I was playing with a white doll. I enjoyed playing with her, and I learned a lot from the doll play. I feel it’s the adults; I keep getting those comments from mostly women who don’t play with dolls anymore and my main focus on keeping the hair long and straight was that three-year-olds wanted to comb the hair. Their main focus is to brush and comb the hair and they can’t do that with a short curlier style. So, my main focus was to attract the little girls.

 CNN: What made you want to start working with the One World Doll Project?

McBride-Irby: After designing (at Mattel) for 15 years I was actually inspired by my founder Trent Daniel and he wanted to take the designing of the doll to a whole other level.

Posted by
Filed under: Age • Black in America • Gender • How we look
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. games land

    Excellent weblog here! Additionally your site so much up fast! What web host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate link for your host? I desire my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    April 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Suzanne Skillman

    Kudos, Stacey! Your doll line is beautiful. Please remember that all the haters who have posted here are just miserable in their own lives and it has nothing to do with you. :)

    March 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Suzanne Skillman

    However, this is not a WHITE country. The United States is a MELTING POT. Don't like it? You are free to leave.

    March 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MomofMany

    Not great, but a nice sentiment nonetheless... I have seen some beautiful renditions of dolls with a variety of ethnicities (and NOT super airbrushed, model looking dolls) on Etsy. They are pricey bc they are handmade, but I wanted my daughter to have a doll that reflected her beauty- not always forcing stereotypes on her.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Asiangirl

    I don't see any asian dolls, so looks like not all the race is included. Here, Picture speaks louder than words.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rmtaks

    So making multiracial dolls = genocide I want to disagree but I can't because that argument is totally bulletproof.

    February 16, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. rmtaks

    "...noticed that her 4-year-old daughter wasn’t playing with dolls, she became concerned. "

    little girl *playing with toy construction equipment*
    mom: No! play with your dolls! Here I made you a better one!
    little girl: *feels empowered*

    February 16, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. WomenOnGuard

    Great idea. Hope she succeeds in this venture!

    February 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. ediva75

    Reblogged this on EDiva's POV and commented:
    Really like this a lot as a kid at heart whose first Barbie back in the 80's was a twist and curl black one!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin Kilmer

    racist POS

    February 16, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. BlackStormfront

    I want let my daughter play with black dolls because they are the ugliest.

    February 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • ac

      That is okay, she will probably end up playing with a black man later own. #ijs

      March 2, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. sean green

    Clicked on headline hoping for Powerpuff girls. I recall the 90s when I lived in a white majority city the barbie dolls had a black version which never sold. I can't help wonder if in black regions if it sells out and barbie does not.

    February 13, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. TheBanner

    Its not really my thing either playing with a doll.I am a guy and am kinda upset that this woman feels her daughter needs to play with dolls to be normal or what ever that is.Or maybe this woman just wants a connection with her daughter and is wrong in thinking that just cause she played with dollls her daughter should too.... I played with dolls actionfigures pretty much any toy when I was younger with my cousins and all we had alot of fun then.And its not wether the doll was asian white black or green with straight hair or curly hair a childs imagination is all they need and that is a wonderful thing.

    February 13, 2012 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. John Latecki Jr

    they forgot an asian doll

    February 13, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. minavaan

    Just what age are these dolls supposed to be? Like 16?

    February 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      who cares?what age is Barbie or a Bratz?

      February 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Greg

    Sorry, but those dolls all look like they've had collagen shots...

    February 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Kilmer

      P-I-G!! Really proud to be a RACIST POS are you? crawl back under the rock you crawled out of!

      February 16, 2012 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Kilmer

      Sorry Greg not sure what happened that response should have posted under that racist pos "PROUD GERMANIC WARRIOR"CNN hiccuped I think!

      February 16, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  17. zan

    Tell me, please–how is it THESE dolls possess such magical powers where psychotropics and family counseling dare not fear to tread?

    February 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  18. hawkechik

    Concerned that her daughter wasn't playing with dolls? Maybe she didn't like dolls? I recall an aunt that pretty much gave me a d*mn doll every Christmas and I recall thinking every Christmas "Why is she giving me this?" Books, games, crafty stuff was what I wanted – not dolls.

    February 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  19. OhBrother

    Just what we needed – Blatz.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  20. gkingii

    These have nothing to do with empowering anyone. It's just a way to make money off a hypersensitive group of people who will buy anything that has this kind of jingoist sales pitch. Don't get sucked into nit-picking the idea. Reject it, flat out.

    February 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      Why does it upset you that not everyone want a white doll?

      February 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Jungg

    I didn't realize that Duckmouth counted as a race.

    February 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Big is always better? No fat dolls...please! I will take the one with the big butt.

      February 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  22. OLDschool CivilRightsActivist

    Hrmm,,..Do "All Girls of All Races" have lips like that?

    February 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Dolls of older woman have other things that dangle. Oh, please do not make me look again.

      February 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  23. b

    I don't like dolls, I always wanted a laptop.

    February 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  24. sandy

    Why don't they try making dolls that aren't beautiful? Maybe some that don't look like different shades of Kim Kardashian or Beyonce? Just sayin. It's not the just color of the skin that is hurting our girls' self-esteem, it's also the constant demand to look like airbrushed, photoshopped fantasy-women. We need to teach our girls to feel good about themselves because they deserve to as human beings, not because they look 'perfect'. White girls have just as many issues as Black, Asian or Martian.

    And yea, why was she worried about her kid not wanting to play with dolls anyway? I preferred tonka trucks as a child. Give the kid a book to read, sheesh. Don't create more unrealistically beautiful dolls; we don't need them.

    February 12, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • KEN

      NO ASIAN DOLLS TOO! ASIANS ARE I/4 OF THE WORLD POPULATION!,.NUTS HEAD!

      February 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • E

        If you think there are not Asian dolls then you have never been to Asia or to any Asian community in the United States. Where do you think the toys we have are made? You think Asians are too stupid to make toys for themselves while making them for the rest of the world?

        February 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • lunanoir

      I would like a doll that doesn't look anorexic!!! It's not just the skin colour, it's the body image we're teaching little girls!!!

      February 13, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  25. forklift

    I thought all the ignorant rednecks commented on yahoo and aol. I was mistaken.

    February 12, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  26. SixDegrees

    Love the gigantic collagen-injected lip look. Along with the eyes, which are also freakishly large for a human head. I can only guess what the proportional chest and waist size are like.

    February 12, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • chefdugan

      Any time someone uses the word "empower" watch out. They also love multi-culturalism and politicaly correct crap.Incidentally, the dolls are ugly as sin.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
      • KEN

        THOSE ARE KISSABLE LIPS! SO THOSE WOMEN ARE ALL ENPOWER TO CONTROL THEIR MEN, BUDDY!,.:):):)

        February 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Laisee-Faire in Lake City

    RAGE OVER PLASTIC TOOOOOOYS!!!!

    February 12, 2012 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Mei

      I would have supported this endeavor until I saw this line: "The company launched with two collector’s dolls that support Barack Obama’s 2012 election.." Really? People vote for Obama based on color alone, I think. Abortion (which Obama supports more than any other president in history) takes MORE LIVES in the African-American community than any other race. That alone, should cause all people of color to shun Obama. His methods are hypocrisy

      February 12, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
      • E

        Oh yawn, these dolls have nothing to do with abortion and you know it. And in case you are too stupid to notice, people choose abortions, unlike you right wing nuts, Obama thinks women are actual human beings who can make their own medical decisions without your Bible being shoved up them.

        February 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Louie

    At last. Now Barbie can have her own maid.
    Do they come with detachable hair pieces?
    What about an African Barb-arian. Very young and pregnant.

    February 12, 2012 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  29. andi

    In no way does it empower women when they are displayed with collagen lips, and anorexic. Why can't BARBIE and MATEL make dolls that look like real women? Why do other raced dolls, still have such light skin? Asian, darker, Indian, Latin dolls are needed. A white girl doesn't have to play with a white doll. A black girl doesn't have to play with a black doll. She can get a doll of each race.

    February 12, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  30. jean

    I demand a short, skinny, flat chested half Asian doll like myself so I can empower my daughter by forcing her to play with it. I'm tired of all the athletics and unstructured outdoor play she is in to. That will help me teach her that lipstick, eyeshadow, and coordinated outfits are how she will get ahead in life.

    February 11, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Represented

      Jean for President!

      I demand a doughy white scandinavian/cajun doll with thin hair and big bulby nose. Then I can force my son to play with it so that he may some idea of what real women look like. Or he just look at me. Same-same.
      =)

      February 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • hah

      what about stay at home dad barbie?

      February 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  31. AusieSceptic1

    dolls with the "collagen-lip" look

    February 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Ohplease

    "When Stacey McBride- Irby, a long-time Barbie lover and designer, noticed that her 4-year-old daughter wasn’t playing with dolls, she became concerned."

    Concerned that her daughter was not playing with dolls? That is so weird in and of itself. If her daughter had "only Caucasian dolls" that is her fault. I had black dolls (among others) as a small girl in the 1960s... This article is just a marketing campaign, why not sell it as such?

    February 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Kay

    I empowered my little girl by allowing her to play with dolls, trucks, balls, dishes, animals, whatever made her happy. She was empowered by parents and family who were positive role models. Frankly, seeing herself reflected in her mom and grandmom did more for her esteem than a doll ever could. But that's just our story and maybe dolls actually do empower some girls.

    February 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Anti-hate

    'No gender' would certainly take care of a LOT of the discrimination these days. Great idea, let's do it!

    February 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Jane

    Osaxono,
    You sound like an inbred racist idiot!!!!!!

    February 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  36. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc,Int'l Intst'r

    important multi-topic postings just delivered and not shown ?????????????you stealing that they are mine
    under correct – tnymma-iii@bell.net.younan.com e-mail

    February 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  37. blackperson3

    osaxono is correct. the worst parents on planet earth are American blacks.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Awkwardmoment

    All the dolls have much lighter skin than she does. Just sayin.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  39. t3chsupport

    Empowers them to beg for more plastic junk. That's not empowerment, that's more materialism parading itself as something else.

    February 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  40. L

    Why does the Latina look like a lighter skinned African American? We are not the same and we don't look the same. For goodness sake, take a look at Mexico and Puerto Rico, and then look at Cuba, Peru, Colombia and Argentina, and come back and make new dolls with different facial features and colors. We are every color and our features vary enormously- don't limit us to being nothing more than a lighter skinned copy of another ethnic group!

    February 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  41. MissTeeny

    Dolls of any kind do little to empower anyone. They usually just push female stereotypes and impossible physical ideals that little girls know they will never reach.

    February 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Lise Quinn

    I hope you're not raising any children, you're horribly racist.

    February 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Wastrel

    The dolls look the same except for the color. Is this really 'empowerment"?

    February 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Scarls

    The dolls are lovely and I do think most girls would love to play with a doll who looks like them. But, I really don't see that this new line of dolls is representative of many ethnicities. I was excited to see the Middle Eastern one as my daughter has inheritied many beautiful features from her middle eastern father ... but to me this doll doesn't reflect any of those features. I applaud the attempt, but sadly, these won't work for us.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • alyx smith

      If we really want to empower girls then lets make some really authentic dolls that have different body types just as humans do, maybe even some with a birthmark, etc. Then our young girls would not grow up thinking the only way to be accepted is to have an anorexic appearance or perfect skin. It is really sad to hear a 10 year old girl say, "I am going to quit eating so I can look like that model." And lets give them clothes that portray real world jobs that women do, because not every woman works in an office, or a hospital, etc.

      February 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Barbara

    Go to this site:
    http://www.so in style Barbie

    You will see all the different barbie's made by this designer and they all look different. Their complexion is from mello yellow to black and their hair is not all straight. They each have different features, Some of the women who various comments about the three dolls CNN chose to put in this article are a little short sighted. Dolls are for fun and stop all this negative talk. Children only want to have fun with the dolls. Playing make believe is fun and help to develop their imagination.
    As a child I played with dolls of all kind most of them didn't look like me. I also played with trucks, Gi Joe, football, doctor,hop scotch etc. Remember when you played make believe as a child. I remember.
    In this age of modern technology where people are glue to their computers, cell phone, psp games and big screen tv's, it nice to see someone do something as simple as design dolls for those who enjoy them.
    Children today have such great imaginations and playing with dolls are fun for all children. They usually don't care about the dolls color or race, it's usually us adults who point out differences to them intentionally or not.
    We adult's today sometime forget about the inner child we all once were

    February 11, 2012 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
  46. sockpuppet

    wow if you all can't see the difference then you need to look again at a white Barbie. These DO have different facial structures, wider noses, fuller lips. If any of you actually read the article you would see her explanation for why she made the hair straight instead of afro. She explains that little girls want to brush the hair and play with it, which you can't do with curly short doll hair. This IS for the kids to play with, not the adults. So everyone can calm the heck down.

    February 11, 2012 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  47. T

    None of the three dolls in the picture attached to this article look "latina". I'm not going to bother buying my neice any of these dolls.

    February 11, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Lucy

      T, I believe there are other dolls in the collection that you may find more favorable. I would also challenge the assumption that the three pictured do not look Latina. Latina ladies come in many shades (dark brown, to medium brown to olive tone) with varying facial structures. Whether people want to admit it or not, many individuals of Latin descent have African blood running through their veins. I think it is wonderful to be able to have so many hues and blood-lines represented within a culture.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Shelly

    Funny how none of the dolls shown have dark skin or dark eyes like their creator. I wonder if there are any in the line that do.

    February 11, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      I was thinking the same thing. But i would bet it's all marketing and those dolls wouldn't sell as well as the lighter skinned ones. stupid? yes, but everyone is out for the buck

      February 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • MD

      Could it be that the three dolls at the beginning of the article are just a random selection of the new doll line. I think you may be missing the point of the author's choice to make a new doll line.

      February 13, 2012 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  49. Natalie

    Er...I can't even find a picture of "Alexie" on the internet. So much for multicultural.

    February 11, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  50. Neoneo

    Those dolls are ugly. They look dirty.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Janice Glazier

    Let's not forget dolls are for fun. So what if they're multicultural? What's wrong with that? Let's not get too deep here. I have always thought Beyonce should have her own doll. think of the clothes....wow.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Bookenz

    Yes, and all little girls have straight shiny hair like those dolls.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Reda

    What about Native American girls.

    February 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Kiara

    *How are they multi-cultural with the exact same face, and light colored eyes? They look like black Barbies, but lighter with lip injections... Or a Bratz/Barbie fusion (which I'd totally understand if they were in a legal uproar over). I don't see anything special, or positive about that. All black girls do not have giant lips, most don't have long flowing hair typically seen on some who's bi-racial, and almost none have light eyes. I'm offended that none of the dolls look different from one another, but most of all like the creator, and average black woman.

    February 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Dr. B

    What I'm most annoyed by is the drastic reduction in careers Barbie follows now. When I was a kid, there was astronaut Barbie, airline pilot Barbie, all kinds of different jobs she did. Now the only thing I see in the toy aisles is pediatrician Barbie (not doctor Barbie, but specifically taking care of babies), veterinarian Barbie (with cute kittens and puppies), and art teacher Barbie (which is a traditionally female dominated field). How about a little diversity in Barbie's career options? Let's break out of fields our culture thinks are "for girls".

    February 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob searcy

      id like to see a stfu and make your husband a sandwich barby.. :)>

      February 11, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  56. Barbara

    I love the so in style Mattel dolls and brought them for my grand daughters. They loved them. I think people need to stop judging the designer and embrace her wanting to give a great doll to all little girls of all cultural back grounds to play with. Little. Girls should not be judge by people, playing with dolls is ok and not playing with them is ok. When I was a little girl my doll didn't have hair. The hair was hard plastic.Little girls do love to comb hair.

    February 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  57. FLamanda

    Why does it have to be empowering just for girls? It may not be many, but some boys play with dolls, they may like seeing this too.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoWhatsLeft

      You're thinkin' what I'm thinkin'! T.S. Barbie!!

      February 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Magmin

    This is stupid all the dolls look the same!!! this is just a sad way for somone to earn a buck by playing the race card once again...if you buy one of these then are most like a person that is easily amused and thinking oh buying a brown doll is gonna change the world...nope its not all its gonna do is line someone pocket

    February 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      Someone developing a toy that resembles themselves instead of a skinny blond is not playing a race card, it is reflecting real people. You think Asian Dolls made in Asia are just Asians playing a race card?

      February 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Dena

    I don't see multicultural in those 3 dolls! All I see is the same facial features, huge lips on each doll with different hair. Sorry but you need to perform some plastic surgery.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reena

      Dena...I am a woman of color and my little girl has had dolls of many different races (when available), but I can assure you...all "chocolate" women do NOT have lips like that, and you are right...its the exact same doll just different shades. I may (somewhat) understand her reasoning, but I feel that if a person is going to take on such a challenge...please be accurate. It never mattered to me what the race of the doll was, I felt that it was more important to help my daughter know that this world is full of many different people/races. Besides, I didn't want her to miss out on any great friendships!

      February 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Rosemary

    Too bad the women who walked across the continent to settle the frontier, and the women who fought for sufferage and all the other women who made this Country great, didn't have dolls that "empowered" them. I thought this new feminism meant that girls didn't have to play with dolls anymore.

    February 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  61. GrouchyKat

    This is a great start. Here's another thought for Matel. Take these Barbie Dolls and make them with no hair. Dress them in pink (yes, pink) and name them "Hope". Let's empower girls who are sick with cancer and chemo with a Barbie to which they can relate. Now that Matel has broken the skin color barrier, they can do this for all girls.

    February 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      I totally agree with you GrouchyKat. Little girls who have cancer are just having their self esteem blown when they see skinny-as-a-stick , long bleach blonde hair barbies!

      February 12, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  62. DollDiva

    Its all about money. Those dolls look about as African American as Beyonce!

    February 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Alex

    They all look alike to me. The dolls, too.

    February 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  64. frances

    I like this idea and I think it could sell but I didnt see much differences in the faces other than a little eye color / skin tone. different cultures have unique face structures that make them their own. like the nose shape or the eye shape and cheek bone and even the fullness of the lips on some. good luck on this idea and i mean my comment only as constructive criticism.

    February 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  65. cocobunny

    I looked at the dolls, and as I fan of dolls, I was very disappointed. It seemed they just took the same face mold and just slightly changed the skin tone and then the hair color. I thought I was looking at the same doll and not dolls from different ethnicity's. I'm not one to stereotype how a race of people should look, but the Caucasian doll didn't look Caucasian to me at all. I also agree on, where's the Asian doll?

    February 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Felicia

    I agree there should be dolls of other ethnicities. Not only so little african american girls have dolls that look like them but I think it would help children to learn about other cultures at a young age also if they had dolls from many ethnic groups. Black barbie, white barbie and asian barbie all in the barbie car having fun..... why not? And I think some people that are saying well why didnt they come out with this sooner, forget that they also didnt have a Barbie that looked like me until years later..... one with brown hair!!!

    February 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Me

    I like the idea of multicultural dolls....but what about every other culture? My feeling is they should have a doll for /every/ race. Could we all do away with the perfect body shapes? Thats doomed to ruin some girls self image when they grow up and they don't have the body they thought they would.... Just saying...

    February 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leila

      Why should children have dolls that look JUST like them? Why not have a variety of dolls with different features in order to build a love of diversity in our kids? Having a doll for each culture implies an innate racism; the idea that a girl will only love what looks 'like herself' is not the way to raise our kids.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Me

        I never said that it should only be for that specific race. It should be for anyone who would like to have one. I never implied that a child should only love a doll that looks like her. I am trying to say have a doll representing every culture for /anyone/ to buy.

        February 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  68. FJ

    This is stupid as always. The "what about me" fixation is going to lead to demandnig representation of fat dolls, anorexic dolls, missing cancerous boob dolls, oversized butt dolls, etc. Grow up already.

    Those dolls came about when the US was 90% white. What do you expect them to look like? Taiwanese?

    February 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      Man, you have some issues with Asians. You, sir, need to grow up and educate yourself.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • sockpuppet

      yeah, but America isn't 90% white anymore, is it? What's your issue with little girls getting to play with dolls that reflect their own ethnicity?

      February 11, 2012 at 5:39 am | Report abuse |
  69. KatLady

    So where are the Asian dolls? No mention of that, and there are WAY fewer Asian dolls on the market than any other ethnicity. And way more Asians in the world than any other ethnicity, too. It is very hard to find an Asian doll for my daughter to play with. If she's going global, please don't forget the Asians!

    February 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • FJ

      If you demand something that reflects Orientals, may I suggest a relocation to the Orient? Of course, even there they're bleaching their skin, getting eye surgeries and dyeing their hair brown as if they're trying to come off as white girls...

      February 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Heather

        Oh Fj, you sound very unlettered. You DO know that there are Asian-Americans in the US too right? And not all "orientals" as you put it lives in the orient. Right? And yes, SOME asians lighten their skin, but there are also Asians who TAN their skin. SO you see, it is no different as a woman getting a boob job. And in case you don't know, SOME women go under the knife to get that almond asian eyes too, just like SOME asians getting eyelid surgery. Explore. Read. It helps.

        February 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • sockpuppet

        excuse me, did you just refer to Asians as "Orientals"? DO you call black people "coloreds"? What era are you from?

        February 11, 2012 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
  70. color me jaded

    Wow. A line of caramel colored dolls. If this is diversity to you, you need to get out of the suburb. Why are there no dark skinned models? And what about other ethnicities? Are they all still built like white supermodels?

    Fail attempt, IMO.

    February 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Heather

    I'm confused why her dolls were all Caucasian as a child. She looks younger than me and multicultural dolls, especially Barbie were available when I was a kid. By the time I was in college and was fascinated by dolls and collecting them, I had dolls of every natural skin tone. I always felt bad for the kids who weren't black or white though. Those other races were much harder to find.

    February 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  72. OvernOut

    Ok, now where's the story about feel-good, empowering toys for boys? Check the AP classes at any high school, the students are overwhelmingly female. I have three kids in college just now, all the public and private universities that we visited said that they were struggling to attract and keep men on their campuses. All of this starts with very young boys. Boys should have some toys that aren't video games or tie-in merchandising for some Disney movie.

    February 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • sockpuppet

      um, I wouldn't actually think that playing with a doll lends to a college education. There is nothing more empowering about this than a boy playing with a truck. If anything, someone could argue that playing with dolls teach girls to be mommies and nothing else. I have a boy and a girl, and frankly I am far more happy about the boy toys than the girls toys. Everything for girls is pink, silly fluff. The TV shows are the same way. Girls are always portrayed as gossipy catty talking about boys and clothes and not much else. BE happy that boys have had toys geared toward them that encourage thinking like legos, tinker toys, erector sets. Girls can play with these things too but they design them to attract boys

      February 11, 2012 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
  73. RB

    Dolls and.....Presidents. Rightly so. A fuller representation of the plurality of our country. The times have changed.

    February 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  74. MD

    I like this. There really needs to be more lines like this. However, all I an think of is "what about...?"
    What about girls who are naturally bigger? What about girls who are naturally taller or shorter?
    This is a great jumping off point, but it definitely should be seen as just that... A jumping off point.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Sunflower

    I am white, as is my mother, but she was raised in the Carribbean. She came to the US as a teenager. When I was little, I remember she brought me a black doll from her island home to play with along with all my other dolls. I LOVED that doll, and was devastated when my other grandmother and my little friends made ugly comments about it... I was so hurt. My grandmother didn't think it was "appropriate". My mother was as baffled as I was. This was in the early 60s so my mother was way ahead of her time. I kept the doll. Thanks Mom!!!! But it taught me some important lessons. Ones that lasted a lifetime.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tylisa

      Sad that you had to have a reality check about the "real USA" so young.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Random me

    Her reasoning is kind of flawed. Keeping the steriotype of the toy for a girl is a doll is not reflective of current America. True, diversity in dolls is cool, and long overdue, but the expectation that her four year old should like dolls and there must be something wrong is silly. I usually prefered my Dad's old legos to dolls and my sister liked the dolls better.I babysat a little girl who would only play with toy horses.Every little girl has a different personality and likes and so will enjoy different things for play time. If we are to truly encourage diversity maybe we should stop putting girls in a box.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tylisa

      Agree. My little girl prefers building type toys over dolls and I 'm happy to see this as I prefer her to have an interest in STEM. I can agree with her on the hair issue though little girls who like dolls do love to brush and comb the hair and creating Barbie dolls without the hair won't make them very attractive. ( I wear my hair in its natural state and so does my daughter)

      February 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • DSBsky

      And maybe YOU should keep YOUR opinion to YOURself.. So dumb people think this way.. Yea we should make women men and men women. Ever stop to think that maybe a large part of us being so different is because WE ARE? Wow Imagine that. Maybe the whole X and Y chromozones actually mean something....... Ya think? FFS we have to turn every pretty woman into a tom boy or something? People cry way to much man. Seriously.. Learn not to cry about everything.. There's your solution..

      February 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • MrsFizzy

        What's so threatening about someone saying every little girl doesn't HAVE to play with dolls all the time?? Is that "making women men and men women"? I guess if you're a parent you freak out if your daughter starts playing with her brother's legos or - horror! your son ever picked up a doll! Who's crying? FFS.

        February 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Random Me

        I'm sorry if not being in the steriotypical box is scary to you. This is exactly the kind of thinking I was talking about. I was not saying to force your little girls to not play with dolls I was just saying that ( I would hope) we are in an enlightened enough country to where our daughters can choose what they want to play with.

        It is sad that in your mind if a woman is a strong person who can fix cars and have a career she is " like a man". That is why this needs to change! How about she is "like a strong independant woman" ? And I hardly think what you play with as a child determines much of anything, it just reveals a little of your personality. Why are you afraid of equality? What if your son wants to play with a doll and your daughter plays with building blocks? Heaven forbid your son grow up to be a thoughtful sensative young man and your daughter an architect.

        February 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Random me-

      Ok then move to Sweden where a pre-school there is teaching there is no such thing as gender differences. Is that what you want, no gender at all? That is scary to me.

      In general girls have played with dolls, yes they play with other sorts of toys as well, but they are the gender that traditionally has played with dolls. I played with dolls, I owned many, I also played with my little pony, legos, and crafty stuff, and stuffed animals.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Kelly

    This is great!!!! This lady is really trying to make a difference in the world with our young girls..... We need more like her..... I hope these dolls hit the store soon. I'm going to definitely buy these

    February 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Pam

    You'd think that Mattel could have come up with something like this years ago, I wonder why not.

    February 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      They did have black barbie dolls and even Polynesian looking barbie dolls. I owned them.

      But no company is going to make up a product that is not selling. If the black barbies were not selling as much as white barbies, then it is a lose of money. Now given the more vocal people in the black community about more representation in consumerism, these dolls are being made.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Leila

    The dolls have shaded skin, but they still reflect an Americanized standard of beauty that is not accurately reflected in women of color.

    February 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cait

      I agree, but for practical production purposes there has to be a standard cast or model. I feel that the creator's mail purpose is to celebrate different races, but do it on a mass produced level for girls everywhere, not doll collectors. I commend her effort and skill on such a product and hope for it's continued success.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Ok so what is the standard of beauty for black women?

      They wear makeup, most of them have straightened hair from chemical treatment, they wear clothes. So what is the standard of beauty for black women in this country? Do you want them to be like the women in Africa? Well I sure as heck do NOT see that being practiced at all.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Fool

    My girl is 5 and she loves to read and play board and card games, and has zero interest in dolls.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Valerie

    They all still look white.............just saying...........they ALL have "white girl" hair too....heck, the one in the middle looks whiter than me, and I am a 5'10" blond Swedish American!!!

    February 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      Those are not white girl lips

      February 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • lili

        What are white girl lips? Are all white girl lips the same? Angelina Jolie's lips are white girl lips so are Roseanne Bars. I hate this type of comment I have curvy hips and a bubble butt and I always hear I have a black girl booty but last time I checked it was white. People that place so much focus on these silly stereotypes need to grow up.

        February 11, 2012 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
      • Shan22044

        Ummmm....Angelina Jolie?

        February 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Shan22044–

        An anomaly.

        Comparatively speaking, black women have fuller, and bigger lips than white women. Nothing wrong with that, it is simply genetics.

        February 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shan22044

      Even the nose is different. I think it's a good start. I had one black Barbie doll that was so pretty and had a nose like that (the only one ever) and my younger sister involved it in an unfortunate accident. Thje doll looked like the Sphinx afterward. :-/ Ahhh..memories.

      The thing that sucked for us was STEVE. The black Ken doll. He was horrrible! We always had him as the villain when we played barbies.

      February 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • melody

        "always had him as the villain"
        so funny

        February 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  82. MrsFizzy

    This is a great story and good that little girls will have more choice. But I kind of raised an eyebrow that she thought it was a problem in itself that her 4-yr old didn't want to play with Barbie. I might get hate for this but imo a Barbie-type doll of any race isn't an ideal toy for a 4 yr-old girl.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Sinddy

    I love this story!!! I can't wait for the dolls to come out! I love that it will include dolls of other ethnicities!!!

    February 10, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |