Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Ethnically-correct" dolls

So this is actually more like "Things I love (hate) right now."

A while back I was chatting w/my goddaughter, who is half White & half Japanese & she made me aware of the American Girl dolls. She was telling me that she wanted Samantha because she "looks like me." I almost began to cry. Then I told her that when I was a girl, I had no dolls that looked like me. Her mom got on the phone & began to tell me about how expensive the dolls are, how little girls are obsessed with them, and how one can order a custom-made model to look like a sinister doppleganger of the girl. Yikes. A flurry of emails ensued between me and several lady friends deconstructing the dolls. Another friend told he she abhors the dolls but her husband spent a fortune on one for their daughter.



This is another American Girl doll that appears to be somewhat Asian. She is part of a series of historical dolls that come with stories. She dates back to SF in the 1970s. Now, if I was doing a 1970s SF doll, miss thing would have a nice Angela Davis Afro and come with a bong & a birth control packet as accessories.

My sister & I had hit a Toys-R-US, a place I rarely visit (though with the recent fertility boom among my friends I see myself as a frequent customer from now on) and I was mesmerized by the BRATZ. Another friend says they look like hookers, clearly problematic, to say the least. And she is right. But at least they are racialized to look Black or Latina. Below is "Yasmin" who looks a bit too much like J-Lo, but props anyway because she looks Latina.  





This is the American Girl that, were I to order a custom-made doppelganger, would be "me" - according to them: medium skin, dark brown hair, brown eyes. Disturbingly, they don't have an Asian girl. 

Many years ago, I was given this Puerto Rican Barbie. I was delighted although disturbed by the light skin and Creole outfit. There are also a series of "Teresa" dolls, including one that comes with a boom box that if you press the button spits out an old school rap. Hey, it's better than the White blonds! Recently a friend told me that Barbie was the macabre brain-child of a (clearly self-hating) Jewish woman! 

Meanwhile, this is the doppleganger of one of my "nieces" - half Puerto Rican/half Canadian. Love her!!!!! 

And, for the Grand Finale, another one of the American Girl "historical" dolls, a (sanitized) runaway slave!!!!!!!! Even I can't go there. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This should go under WTF!

Anonymous said...

This should go under WTF!

Petite Maoiste said...

Yes maybe you are right.....I thought about it.....

Finchy said...

Wow-- that is a serious sign of the apocalypse.

AK said...

I gave my little gawdaughter/niece a Bratz. I asked the mom or kid if they minded it, they said no. I said, oh, it's ok, she look likea hoe!

AK said...

Look at this biach:

http://www.timemachinetoys.com/toypics2/DollyPartonDoll.JPG