I had already checked out at Walmart when I remembered that I had forgotten something. So I rushed towards the health and beauty aisle. As I headed to the far end of the store (which looked like a mile away), I turned my head to the left, looked down and my eyes met her. This beautiful Barbie was tucked away on an end-cap. I stopped in my tracks, picked her up and immediately noticed her dark skin–she looked like me… Well not really but her skin sure did!
She was exactly what I wanted growing up. However, my mom only bought what she could afford and what was available at Pic’N Save–white Barbie dolls every Christmas. They were OK but I didn’t complain. The white Barbie looked nothing like me. She had long blonde hair, blue eyes and pink lips, which couldn’t compare to my short, kinky hair, popped eyes and deep dark skin. So you may wonder why at 43, I would be so excited about this doll?
Perhaps because I’ve always wanted and it’s never too late for God to grant your heart's desires. Best of all, she was only $7.83–WOW–and all mines! My son, who is six-year-old, saw it on my nightstand and asked if it were my niece, Princess, who is tall, thin, dark-skinned, long hair and a flashes a beautiful smile. I actually thought she looked like one of my favorite cousins, Connie. By the way, I found the doll just a day or two after the founder of Barbie, the late Ruth Handler, would have turned 71-years-old.
As a child (and sometimes an adult), we wonder where we belong in the world. As we get older, we wonder how we can contribute in some small or major way. I sometimes felt because I didn’t see brown dolls that maybe my race wasn’t beautiful or popular enough to have dolls that would make it to the shelves of Pic’N Save. My granny always said, “If you live long enough, you’ll see some things happen.” While Barbie may have started with a vision that included predominately all-white dolls, it's great to know that Barbie has a line of dolls called Fashionistas, which launched this year that celebrates cultural diversity. There’s also a full-figured Barbie included in the line-YES! I’m sure Ms. Handler would be proud of the way in which her brand continues to courageously take calculated risks by creating products that are inclusive and are a reflection the world in which we live. Now that’s how you courageously evolve!
P.S. My granny was always right!