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Black Barbie Party Supplies

Moms Petition For Black Barbie Party Supplies

When 4-year-old Georgia Braithwaite asked for a Barbie-themed fifth birthday, her mom Karen had no idea it would be a difficult request to fulfill.

But as The Observer reports, when Karen Braithwaite started looking for party supplies, she discovered they featured the blond, blue-eyed Barbie. Frustrated, she created a petition on asking Mattel to support party supplies "featuring Barbies of color," a petition that now has over 3,700 signatures.

"Even though it seems like a small thing," reads the petition, "featuring the white Barbie so prominently on the banners, cups, napkins, plates, party favors, and invitations, while relegating the 'ethnic' Barbies to near-invisible cameos sends a clear — and troubling — message to young girls."

Read more (The Observer)

Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
AmandaS24396 AmandaS24396 4 years
So are we going to start a petition to get a barbie with some weight on her too? If you want barbie to be like everyone under the sun the shouldn't she be more of a size six to ten then a tooth pick. Barbie has friends who are of different colors. Mettle just needs to off supplies with their faces too. They could have a mixed party supplies box that has all of the characters, but asking them to change the iconic barbie isn't right. It shouldn't matter what her skin color is if your kids like to play with them then so be it, wouldn't this be teaching them that my skin color is better then yours because mettle changed barbie to look like me. I think if we want a change then they need to come out with dolls, barbie, bratz whatever that aren't tooth picks. If you want to say that anything is wrong with the dolls girls play with is that they are tooth picks that wear skimpy clothing. Which is what we don't want our daughters to do. Try to lose weight and dress like street walkers. Buy the colored barbie if it bothers you. My son has gi joes that are all colors but the main character is white, he love diego, and handy Mannny. There are many ethnic dolls for boys and girls out there, asking a company to change the main character after almost 60 years is nuts, yes they could make a few more ethnic friends, but it would be like asking them to make strawberry short cake black, when she does have an ethnic friend, or making Dora Aboriginal because a little girl wants a party with that theme. If this goes through many companies are going to have problems as this will open a can of worms.
CLarson CLarson 4 years
I know there are all good intentions with this, and I'm all for Barbie's 'ethnic' friends getting more prominence on merchandise, but I always think the reason race is still such an issue is because that's all people are seeing. It would be great if we could look at Barbie etc and see a doll and not 'white' or 'black'. Also, since Barbie is the focus character of the brand, is it really surprising that she features on everything? It's like asking why Hello Kitty features so prominently when Sanrio has so many other characters.
LindaThompson44503 LindaThompson44503 4 years
I am a Mom and a Grandmother, I am white, but I think this is a great idea. You would think that the marketing team at Mattel would have already thought of this.
HeatherMott HeatherMott 4 years
I remember playing with Barbie as a child and loved that she had so many different friends and versions. People get so lost in our PC world they forget that it's just a kids doll meant to be played with however the child imagines. My kids (girls and boys) played with Barbie and Ken, White, Black, Indian, Eskimo etc...I think all kids need to have an outlet for play and something they can look up to, like ballerina Barbie or Doctor Barbie. I would be happy to sign this petition because it shouldn't matter what race you are, a little girl should have the best Barbie party ever.
filomena56805 filomena56805 4 years
If Barbie is a tall, skinny, blond, blue eyes doll, why don't you simply choose another party theme that is more suitable. I am terribly sorry to say, but we are in fact all different and having Mattel changing their Barbie dolls to meet all the races, cultural, relligious, ethnic differences is just crazy. Can you imagine having Barbie in a Burka? I hate Barbie doll, and because I find an extreme symbol of futility, I simply don't buy them, and don't let me my 6 year old daughter play with it. But I am not going to ask Mattel to change Barbie doll to match my ideals and my cultural demands, I have other options.
LindaHargens LindaHargens 4 years
I dont understand the issue. Barbie is a tall, skinny, white, blond haired, blue eyed woman. Just like Mickey mouse is a round headed mouse with big round black ears and Elmo is a fuzzy red monster. That is what Barbie looks like! If my child asks for a Barbie birthday I would expect everything to have a blonde haired blue eyed Barbie on it and if she asked for a Mickey party I would expect everything to have Mickey on it.
HeatherBollinger50358 HeatherBollinger50358 4 years
Has it occurred to anyone that what we ARE doing is teaching our daughters to rely on consumer driven products to provide them with an identity at all? That is the sad part of this conversation. Why are our children relying on the prepacked identity provided by Disney, or Mattel or American Girl? Its easy enough if your daughter wants a princess party or a barbie party or whatever to tailor that to fit whatever color you or she or half of her friends happen to be. Its called a box of crayons. Print your blank Barbie pictures from the internet, she'll probably color half of them green with purple hair! It will be the most colorful and individual Barbie party ever. I'll admit its a nice idea for these products to provide dolls that match each unique racial combination that exists out there - which we can tell just by reading these posts are quite varied. Its just not realistic. They are in it for the profit and therefore will cater their product to the demographic that will spend the most money on it. Plain and simple. So the other option is to teach her that she possesses enough creativity and individuality to produce a fantastic Barbie or Princess or Astronaut party all on her own without relying on what the store bought version is going to give her. The less we promote the idea that these companies are responsible for creating our children's identity the less they will learn to rely on consumerism as their barometer for success and happiness. In my opinion, when that happens everybody wins (well, maybe not Mattel).
TinaBarner TinaBarner 4 years
I think it would be wonderful to have so-called ethnic Barbies or Barbies of different color and nationality. What is wrong with that? As a caucasion, I certainly do NOT feel in any way superior to anyone of a different color, nationality, or anything. We were all made in God's image. I would also like to see Barbie dolls in wheelchairs or using Canadian crutches, or any other apparatus used ON A DAILY BASIS by someone with a disability. I know that my viewpoint may not be too popular, but think about it this way- what if YOU were the minority? I worked at a nursing home that THE most varied cultures of its workers, it was unbelievable. Caucasions were definitely in the minority and the girls I worked with were the most respectful people I have ever met. There were women in all stages of Muslim dress. There were women who were part of cultures I had never even heard of. But it was wonderful, because it always stayed in my mind that we were all created in His image. Even if their beliefs were so very different from my own. Different doesn't make it wrong.
AprilBunting55481 AprilBunting55481 4 years
"I think it's great that this mother did this petition! It shows she wants to raise her daughter to be proud of who she is and what she looks like." OK, black or white, Barbie is hardly an image enhancing role models for girls. It never has been with the freaky body proportions and the emphasis on clothes, looking 'pretty' and all the pink bull they throw at you. Sure it's obvious that playing dress up Barbie 15 times in one hour and pushing the clothing and girly accessories was clearly a marketing ploy to make money. But Barbie as a role model? For being comfortable with 'yourself'? C'mon....really?
April14377653 April14377653 4 years
I remember playing with the first brown barbie that belonged to my older sister and I thought she rocked. The red, sixties swing cape always looked better on her- everything seemed better on her! This is great. I'd love to see Asian and Indian barbies, too. I can envision that ornate sari and jewellery right now! With a Bollywood theme radio!
AshleyBarbera AshleyBarbera 4 years
I'm white! My daughter is white ,blonde hair ,blue eyes! But I think it is a brilliant idea for Mattel to have a party theme for all girls! If it was other way around I would feel just as frustrated! I never thought of it before honestly! We have all different Barbie's! She loves them all!
Sheenacastle1361570652 Sheenacastle1361570652 4 years
I think it's great that this mother did this petition! It shows she wants to raise her daughter to be proud of who she is and what she looks like. That not every little girl has to be blonde hair and blue eyed to be "perfect like Barbie" . I am blond with green eyes and my daughter is blond with blue eyes, yet my daughter's father is black. I want her to be proud of every race that she is, regardless of the color that her skin shows. This mom deserves a pat on the back:)
Nicky14377402 Nicky14377402 4 years
Forgot to add I congratulate this mom for starting this. I would love to see it happen as my oldest daughter has informed me that she wants to collect Barbie dolls. I hope next year I can give her a Barbie party.
Nicky14377402 Nicky14377402 4 years
The ridiculousness of some comments in this thread!! We all know first Barbie the actual doll is white! We all know she has blue eyes and blond hair! We should know that Barbie is still on the name of every box whether the doll inside is the actual character barbie, Ken, Skipper or Nikki. I believe what the post is about is having the same variety in party supplies as the actual dolls themselves. I have 2 girls with completely different hair skin tones I can find a doll for each of them. So why not party supplies for the amount of money we as parents spend on them we as parents should have a say without people the idiots pointing out that the first barbie is white as an answer to why no variety in party supplies. This is why while I buy tons of barbies all different races or variety I should say. I buy Disney princess party supplies and not Princess Tiara only because me nor my kids like that movie much. And this is from a person of mixed roots Black, White and Indian. And one thing I do not do is shop online for party supplies I like to see them in my hand to match with everything I need.
Amanda14369108 Amanda14369108 4 years
why is everyone about color....were all the same
SylviaSuttonHeath SylviaSuttonHeath 4 years
To those who think that it doesn't matter to children if they have a doll that looks like them or not, I am white with brown hair and it bothered me a lot that most of the princesses in fairy tales and Disney movies had hair of gold. I was so happy to discover Snow White with her dark hair. Finally someone who got to be a princess without having golden hair. I'm not the adopted mom of a Hispanic girl who is beautiful ( ok, I'm her mom but everyone would agree that her skin is the color that most white people want to get from a tan and her thick black hair with just a touch of wave is gorgeous ). I was so happy that there were many more choices of dolls for her. We had white Barbies and Barbies Hispanic friend and Afro American friend. We had Pocahontas and Jasmine dolls and Zena warrior princess dolls. American Girl dolls come in several races and ethnicity. And there's the company whose name I don't remember that makes dolls that look like Me for little girls. We also had books that featured girls of many colors. My daughter's 2 best friends are a Hispanic that was in the same foster homes and were adopted at about the same time and her friend from play group at age 2 who is very blond. Their color isn't what makes them friends or keeps them apart. It's what they like to do together and what they like about each other. Let's help every kid to feel that they are just as important in the world as every other kid and that you don't have to be blonde or blue eyed or thin or perfectly proportioned. It's what you do and what you think that determines how important you are and not color.
LucetteLapointe LucetteLapointe 4 years
Fulla's red-haired friend is called Nada (though you may want to try to change it to Nadine). Hey, it gets boring if the dolls are all identical. Remember that when it comes to the Ken dolls as well - that they should look like the boys one's kids go to school with. Both Barbie and Fulla have pink as their basic colour, Tiana has green, not everything you use for a party has to have the likenesses on, but it has to match the colour scheme. Also, I presume that a little girl who wants a Barbie themed party probably wants more barbie related stuff as birthday presents - hint, hint. Barbie is marketed as being a bit of a hoarder, if you know what I mean. Sorry for double post, no edit button.
LucetteLapointe LucetteLapointe 4 years
One thing is to have a duo themed party - where you have barbie and another character theme. Barbie and Princess Tiana themed? Barbie was created at a time when you had groups of girls where one was the cool one who dated and the others were so grateful to be her friend - which seems to be changing a bit. Someone mentioned Disney Princess - though if it has Ariel on it, don't get it. There is Fulla, which is an olive skinned black haired barbie one can get on ebay who has a friend with natural looking red hair and another friend that looks Spanish. You do have to get a black outfit with a scarf when you get the doll, but you can use that in ways other than intended. There is Dora, of course. Disney Fairies. Only Hearts Club dolls. And, well remember that the Flintstones used to live next door to a Monster family? BTW - just be glad that your son did not request a Ken themed party - speak of trying to pull that off!
KayelleElliott KayelleElliott 4 years
Barbie is a name of an imagined girl who was made into a doll... And she is white, blonde hair, blue eyes! Her friends have different names and they are of different ethnicities. Mattel is losing money by not producing party supplies catered to the people who would choose to buy the ones of barbies friends. My daughter is 1 1/2 and has dolls that are white, Latin, and black ( she is half white and half Argentinian) I feel it is very important to expose her to dolls of all ethnic backgrounds because that is what the real world is, a melting pot of al cultures. More power to this mama and I hope Mattel decides to distribute more party supplies themed toward all little girls who want their dolls to look like them!! Lets make sure they produce party supples for all of Barbies friends!
TammyHurt TammyHurt 4 years
I totally believe most people are deviating from the original issue! It's about the CHILD! Those leaving racist, hateful comments DO NOT UNDERSTAND unless they have biracial children! Growing up in the early 70's I had a Barbie. At that time she being WHITE was our only choice! All of my African American friends had the same doll but we also complained about not having a doll that represented who we are. Mattel produced The Sunshine Family and sold a beautiful African American family. I was very happy when I received them for Christmas. Before then, I had all white dolls and an Asian doll. All my dolls were Caucasian from Baby that away, baby come back, Holly Hobbie, Rainbow Bright, I even had a Farrah Fawcett head! This petition has nothing to do with someone creating a petition to make Mattel create a doll they already have. It has everything to do with creating or making available a birthday product line representing their targeted audience! If it's not a hot ticket item in stores, it should be available online! FYI: Minorities had more buying power purchasing Caucasian doll in the past because that was the only choice. At that time, we didn't have a voice. Now, times have changed! It's multicultural and I think everyone who refuse to believe this important fact, need to wake up! In the next 30 years or so, Caucasian Barbie will probably not be as popular as she has been in the past!
ScherrieKearse ScherrieKearse 4 years
Wow, I guess some parents are ignorant and unknowledgeable about the toys their kids play with! No surprise here. To adriannelogsdon, tonilebel, rachellelaughlin, jessicapaulin45264,marshamais, lucywelham,Ramona1234 and all the other persons whose mouths are bigger than your brains. Barbie came out in about 1959 when and she was Caucasian. In 1980, the African-American Barbie came out and two races of toy with the same name are still sold until now. Also, a Hispanic Barbie came out in the 1980s too but did not last long so they renamed her and made her a friend of the two Barbies. Kids like toys that look like them and their friends which is why different races are sold by the billions. And in the area I live in, the Barbie of color is always the first to sell out especially around Christmas, sold to all races and the late shoppers are only left with the Caucasian one which does NOT making any of the kids I buy for jump for joy unless I add a whole wardrobe of clothes and accessories to go with her:-( Sad! As for the birthday supplies, it would be nice for Mattel to make party supplies with the black barbie, they do make the cake toppers. They would probably double in party supplies sales. In the past, I have bought the black barbie theme cake from the store and made one in the past too, got the princess Amira invites and old fashion Barbie silhouette plates.
AndreaKennedy5690 AndreaKennedy5690 4 years
It actually surprises me that she couldn't find the party supplies featuring the doll ethnicity of her choice. As for the comment flurry of complaints about "Barbie" being specifically white.... I had a number of "Barbie" dolls including the ones I believe were named "Skipper" and an "Ariel" doll. I still called them all "Barbie" even if that wasn't the name on her little tag/box/birth certificate/whatever. I highly doubt she is trying to start a crusade to have "Barbie's" race changed so calm down. What I take away from this story is more that yet another person has created yet another petition over something. It seems like everyone and their dog has started a petition over something lately, can issues not be taken care of in a simpler manner without causing some big to-do over everything?
KelseyHoke KelseyHoke 4 years
Opps.sorry didnt get to finish...*even at Christmas time* I have to be quick to get to the store for a doll that looks like us or I have to go to an area that is populated with blacks. It is important for me to buy my girls Tiana and Doc MCstuffins because Black girls can be a princess and smart! They also have a ton of Dora, Tinkerbell, and every other princess but having a doll that looks like them is important! Their dad and I always remind them that they are our princess like Tiana and they cam be super smart like Doc mcstuffins :)
KelseyHoke KelseyHoke 4 years
This is not UNBELIEVABLE. I am a black mother to two beautiful little black girls. It is important to me that they both play with a RANGE of dolls that come from different backgrounds. However, when my daughter turned one I made a CONSCIOUS effort to surround her with Princess Tiana for so long there was never a "princess" that looked like me. So for her first birthday I had the HARDEST time finding Princess Tiana party themes. I live in Georgia by the way. I became EXTREMLY frustrated I complained to the party city manager and he explained to me not living in an area where Blacks are high in population they get very few items in. I wrote to disney and explained my frustration. Disney sent complimentary gifts. Overall I had to buy the majority of her party theme online. Even at Christmas time wheb O am looking
MonicaHultin MonicaHultin 4 years
Actually, my original Barbie was a brunette with pouty lips and real eyelashes. Barbie has not always been blonde hair and blue eyes, she used to be portrayed in different ways, and no reason she can't be portrayed differently now.
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