Posted by
Peter Madsen
• 10.21.09 10:05 pm

black barbie

Mattel updated their black Barbie dolls. Even though they were revised by a black toy designer, some wonder if they’re black enough.

Mattel updated their black Barbie dolls. Even though they were revised by a black toy designer, some wonder if they’re black enough.

adell

ADELE WATTS, 85, LOWER EAST SIDE, MANHATTAN

Hi Adele! Did you hear about the redesigned black Barbie?

No, I didn’t. I’m not even sure I knew there was a black Barbie. I think there should be one, though.

Do you think a non-black child would want a black Barbie?

Children are fussy. I think they would like a doll of their own color.

In updating the black Barbie they’ve made the lips larger but the hair is pretty much all straight.

I don’t think they should have the big lips. I think they should have the natural lips.

Well, I mean the lips are larger in terms of how they had been designed before. They’re now more like black people’s lips. Is this attention to detail appropriate?

I think so.

Did you play with dolls as a girl?

I did. I used to have a doll that you would place on your knees and it would cry “Mama, mama.” It was so cute. One time I realized my plastic doll was missing a thumb. I showed that to my ma. She said, “Well, Adele! You chewed it off!” I said, “Oh, ma. I was so hungry I was waiting for something to eat!” A doll teaches girls how to take care of babies. I myself learned it from the doll. I would have had five children but one died. The doctor wanted to know how a lady can have a child nine months and, when it dies five minutes after birth, not cry. I said to the doctor, “Well, I want to cry but I won’t do it because I know I’m going to see her later.”

What was her name?

She died before I could give her one.

elena

ELENA MELLOW, 51, ST. GEORGE, STATEN ISLAND

The new black Barbie doll has straight, light brown hair. Some say Mattel isn’t really embracing black beauty. What do you think about that?

I lived in London for six years and I saw many black Barbie dolls. But I don’t think they’re right because they encourage the wrong beauty ideal because they’re all so slim and they cause girls to lose weight. I actually know someone who committed suicide at 32 because she was getting older and gaining weight. She was not in a Barbie-like appearance anymore and she threw herself in the River Thames. I don’t think there should be a fat Barbie but there should be one that is plump.

Do you think black Barbie dolls make it easier for black girls to look like Barbie dolls?

I think it’s good for black girls to play with black dolls because it helps them identify themselves. The idea of the doll’s skin color is good, but girls will consider themselves ugly because they cannot resemble the impossible beauty ideal of a Barbie doll.

Do you find it important that the black Barbie was updated by a toy designer who’s a black female?

I think it’s good, why not? I’m Russian and I would make a Russian doll because I know the culture. [Black dude in background of photo raises his eyebrows, leans back toward me]

To the Dude: I would love to talk to you next.

Dude: I’m not interested.

To Elena: So you think it’s more a cultural matter than an aesthetical one?

Elena: Maybe. To be honest I think anybody can embrace features, no matter whether you’re white or black. The model is more important than the designer.

To the Dude: You said you’re not interested but you keep listening in. Why won’t you let me interview you?

Dude: I don’t like your questions. What kind of company are you running here?

What’s wrong with them?

You said black people’s hair isn’t naturally straight, but some are. Who do you represent?

Street Carnage.

OK. I’m going to check you guys out. I always like to do my investigations. I’m street.

Your name is Street?

No. I’m from the streets.

What does that mean, exactly?

It means I don’t like your questions.

I could probably ask better questions if you’d help me out.

You’re just asking the questions your company wrote out.

No. I wrote these questions this morning by myself. I would love to interview you.

No. I have a reputation to uphold. I work for Plain Truth Entertainment. Steve Sola is my manager and he produces artists like 50 Cent, Mobb Deep, and other artists like that. If you put me in there like that, I can sue you.

OK. I don’t know how this could harm you.

You wouldn’t harm me, you would harm my company if I put myself in the limelight of something like that. You should ask Steve Sola those types of questions and see what he tells you.

I would love to speak with Mr. Sola.

You wouldn’t. Trust me.

Would you help me contact him?

Nope, I’m not going to get involved with it. I’m not going to put my name in it.

I don’t know your name. You didn’t give it to me.

And that’s good.

nikia

NIKIA TAMECA SANTOS, 23, JAMAICA, QUEENS

Have you heard?

No, but when I was a little girl I played with Christie, who is a black Barbie doll and Teresa, who was a Spanish one. There was a black Ken doll. All the others.

Can you remember if you thought their features were black enough?

Yeah, they were black and Spanish enough.

The new black dolls have straight hair.

Well, the Christie doll had straight hair, and I remember one of them had curly hair. Or was it frizzled? I don’t remember.

Some say that since most black people’s hair is not naturally straight, these black Barbies should not have straight hair either.

I think they should have straight hair because I think it looks better than the frizzy hair.

Why is that?

The frizzy hair is more messy and you can’t do anything with it. The straight hair looks more neat. I would wear my hair straight instead of the way I have it.

Why don’t you straighten your hair?

I don’t want to go to a beautician because I don’t want to spend the money. If I had the money, I would go and get it straightened. Or put in braids.

Some people say black women straighten their hair or get weaves because they want straight hair like white women.

I don’t think so. I just think they’re trying to look good.

-PETER MADSEN


Comments
  1. Maxwel says:

    righteous

  2. BAPS says:

    psssch, when my italian girlfriend gets a tan she looks blacker than beyonce.

  3. Mikhael says:

    Everyone was good but sometimes old ladies just OWN, amirite?

  4. thug Life says:

    This is interesting. good one Madsen!

  5. Jabbin Mcannus says:

    random black dude sounds like a fag, I hope someone emails steve sola so he can push homedudes poop in.

  6. stoops says:

    satisfying.

  7. Turd Town says:

    This one was great. Steve Sola should use his piles of cash to get a website that doesn’t look like it was shit out of 1996.

    I love the promo shot of the Barbies with the designer. Suddenly she’s the most famous designer at Mattel just because they want to say “Check it out, we even had a real, live black person design ‘em this time! Now you can’t get pissed at us if you don’t like it; you’ll only have yourselves to be angry with.”

  8. a4awesome says:

    i think black barbies should have straight hair – it is easier to play with. or maybe I’m being influenced by that new Chris Rock movie about ‘Good Hair’.

  9. bjbj says:

    i freakin love this column, ARSE to all those who say this part of the website sucks. you’re arses yourselves.

    its just nice to see whats going on with people around the place, people are interesting.

    this part:

    “Did you play with dolls as a girl?

    I did. I used to have a doll that you would place on your knees and it would cry “Mama, mama.” It was so cute. One time I realized my plastic doll was missing a thumb. I showed that to my ma. She said, “Well, Adele! You chewed it off!” I said, “Oh, ma. I was so hungry I was waiting for something to eat!” A doll teaches girls how to take care of babies. I myself learned it from the doll. I would have had five children but one died. The doctor wanted to know how a lady can have a child nine months and, when it dies five minutes after birth, not cry. I said to the doctor, “Well, I want to cry but I won’t do it because I know I’m going to see her later.”

    What was her name?

    She died before I could give her one.”

    ………………was beautiful

    and this part:

    “…I lived in London for six years and I saw many black Barbie dolls. But I don’t think they’re right because they encourage the wrong beauty ideal because they’re all so slim and they cause girls to lose weight. I actually know someone who committed suicide at 32 because she was getting older and gaining weight. She was not in a Barbie-like appearance anymore and she threw herself in the River Thames…”

    ……………was strangely awesome as well.

  10. more quotes says:

    One time I realized my plastic doll was missing a thumb. I showed that to my ma. She said, “Well, Adele! You chewed it off!” I said, “Oh, ma. I was so hungry I was waiting for something to eat!” A doll teaches girls how to take care of babies.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. stoops says:

    a few more of these, madsen, and you could make a book…that is, if you really start putting yourself OUT there. you know whose opinion about shit i’d like to hear? dana giachetto. for shits and giggles. what happened to that fucking guy?

  12. bjbj says:

    …speakin of black babies
    fuck it was fun to be young & stupid
    http://www.cocaineblunts.com/blunts/?p=4437

  13. ac says:

    wow “dude” just got outstreeted by an 85 year old woman.

  14. pingpong says:

    Awesome, old lady had some intense shit ready for this one

  15. lionel hutts says:

    @baps: that’s because the Africans did so much fuckin’ with Italian women that they changed the bloodline forever. that makes your girlfriend part eggplant.

  16. Cunty Baws says:

    Black Barbies should have fucking AFROS. Huge, fuzzy, bouncy afros. There should be a cord on the back that you pull which makes it say, “nigga, you best not touch that fuckin’ cord again or ama bust yo bitch ass”.

    Also, Peter, you really should have taken a sneaky picture of “dude” and posted it in here, along with a fake text interview where he talks about his favourite gay sex positions. A lost opportunity methinks.

  17. Professor Mudbutt says:

    I KNEW Michelle Obama moonlights as a street person! During the day.

  18. milky says:

    that old lady was intense.

  19. Dork says:

    Fat Barbie! They should do a fat Barbie and her fat gay friend Ken. They can both sit on an old lopsided, plaid couch and watch reality shows in their trailer.

  20. Kokomo Starr says:

    When a doctor asks you why you’re not crying you know you’re fucked up, their job is to deal with intensely tragic shit all day every day. So to make one say “I can’t imagine how you’re not crying right now like 99 percent of everybody else I’ve dealt with in this situation” it’s like you learned how to love a baby by eating a doll hand or something.

  21. Vane$$a says:

    When X-mas comes around, I’m gonna go to all the local toy stores and buy every one of these dolls just to ruin the holidays for all the little African-American girls in my town. You got Obama! Enough already!

  22. T-Roll says:

    50 cent is like the Britney Spears of hip hop.

    I though his 15 seconds were up.

  23. Mike E says:

    Adele is on the next level. She dropped some heavy shit in all our laps.

  24. Clayton. says:

    This is really heavy and really great.

  25. Steve Sola says:

    To Turd Town:
    The old web site does look like it was from 1996 but seriously ….HOW WOULD YOU KNOW?
    You did not even have a computer then…lol
    TO ALL : google Steve Sola and you will see plenty of web sites that are newer.
    for ex: http://www.themixking.com
    To random Black dude: You probably dont work for me because you would have given him your name
    NOT only mine. Thats weak and people that work with me dont do that.
    To Street Carnage: THANX for putting me in your article….Holla
    p.s. and if you want an interview contact me


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