Barbie Joins Antiracist Movement; Tells Kids Why People Are Marching
Barbie dolls are having the conversations about race and racism that adult humans are resisting — and the example they’re setting could be textbook.
The Barbie doll line that kids today know is already pretty different from the one many of their parents grew up with. New Barbie dolls are diverse — they represent different cultures and experiences. There are Barbies with prosthetic limbs, vitiligo, and with more body types and hair textures.
It’s not just the packaged dolls that are moving forward, though — the characters behind the dolls are also making strides. Recently, Mattel released a video in which two of the dolls, Barbie and Nikki, talk to kids about racism. The Black doll, Nikki, opens the vlog by telling Barbie, and viewers, that they’re getting ready to have a conversation that’s hard, but important.
The video is getting praised for a few things. While Nikki is sharing her experiences, Barbie isn’t talking over her, arguing about why Nikki was treated differently, or refusing to believe. She listens to Nikki share her experience, and amplifies it, explaining to the viewer that this is why millions of people are marching and speaking up against racism.
Nikki tells her friend, and the viewers, about times teachers and even security staff, have treated her differently from Barbie, without any good reason. They’re experiences that will surely resonate with a lot of viewers.
The video never mentions the phrase “Black lives matter,” but the pair discuss people marching, and tell viewers that ignoring the problem won’t help. “Because when we don’t say anything, we’re just letting it continue….if someone is being treated unfairly, stand up for that person.”