Unless you were improperly proportioned, open to copious amounts of plastic surgery and blonde, it was almost impossible to be a Barbie girl in a Barbie world. But now, thanks in part to ingenious creativity, there is a Barb for everyone to covet.
Karen Byrd is the lady to thank for producing custom ethnic dolls that all the little girlies across the land can see a little of themselves in. The doll company called Natural Girls United is selling dolls with customized, natural-textured hair, so kids who have dreads, braids, locks, afro puffs and other styles (that aren’t the 28 inch Yaki Barbie wears) can finally relate to the dolls.
Company founder Karen Byrd elaborated about the need for doll-diversity on the site’s “About” page:
As a young girl, I remember loving to play with my dolls… mainly with my Barbie dolls. I thought the dolls where beautiful, but always noticed that my African American dolls did not look like me. Their features did not look like mines. And their hair certainly did not look or feel like mine! This did affect my view of what beauty was.
…There have been quite a few studies done that show that African American boys and girls often think of black dolls as bad and white dolls as good. Of course, this is not something that the parent is teaching their child. So why are they getting these mixed messages about good and bad skin color, or good and bad hair? It all has to do with the images they see as they grow up.
And we seriously cannot believe that it took this long to see some real diversity in doll gals, but if you want to get your hands on these custom dolls (who all start out with that regular silky Barbie hair), then you better get to grabbing, as the waiting list is already filling up as the holidays approach.
Check out some of the dolls below, and the full inventory over at naturalgirlsunited.com
Now someone get Barbie a custom pink pick!