Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DISCUSSION: BARBIE gets a natural hair makeover!

Barbie does a BIG CHOP - lol
This natural hair revolution is making its way into to homes across the land. Not just with women returning to chemical free tresses, but even Barbie is getting a makeover! There's a new phenomenon in the fashion doll industry - it's all about remixing Barbie's hair to make her have a more natural appearance.

Growing up, my mother brought me lots of African American dolls; I even had some dolls who wore kente cloth dresses, reminiscent of my father's African heritage. However, the dolls always had straight silky hair. As a kid, I didn't really mind, I just wanted to style the doll's hair. But, this may have spawned my obsession with having the perfect straight ponytail - a long hair style that my hair wasn't capable of doing.

Even after seeing all these gorgeous dolls, I wonder, do little girls just want to play in Barbie's hair or is their roll play with the doll creating a subconscious need for long straight hair? Are we taking the fantasy out of play time?

The popularity of remixing Barbie's isn't new. There are several blogs that give parents step-by-step instructions on giving your Barbie new hair, new clothes, new eyes, and even new limbs - anything to enhance the dolls and make them more realistic. Check out Kristl Smith Tyler's cool blog, How to Play with Barbies, where she uses Barbies in roll-playing exercises to increase confidence in  her children.

Recently, a natural hair meet-up group in Columbus, Georgia, gave remixed dolls to a local Girls, Inc group. The girls who receive the dolls loved their natural hair dolls. The group gave the dolls away during the Christmas season in order to increase confidence in the young ladies. (source) This is a great idea and I'm sure more community organizations will follow suit. 

Other people remix their dolls just for asthetics. Can you blame them? If you were a Barbie collector, like I was, this is an ultimate dream to have a Barbie that has the 'Barbie' characteristics, but the individuality you desire. This Barbie renaissance is moving forward with great speed - I'm happy to see more variety in the doll land.


Do you think this movement is a positive direction for Barbie? Do you think the Mattel Company will follow the lead and start manufacturing dolls with more natural features?
Do you think little girls really care if the doll's hair is 'just like' their hair?

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