OK so I've never owned a Barbie. My parents got us Weebles and Fisher Price toys when we were kids. But my fabulous fiance wanted to make a funny video for our wedding. And part of the "funny" was going to be that we were going to use a Barbie and Ken Doll to portray us in the video. So we went to Toys R Us yesterday and I just assumed that there were Asian Barbies. Boy was I wrong. When we couldn't find a Barbie I thought, oh well I'll just get a different brand of doll NOT realizing there is a dirth of Asian dolls on the market. Yes, I must admit I felt slighted. Even more so I felt bad for all of the little Asian American girls who probably feel left out as their Caucasian, Black and Latino friends are able to buy Barbie dolls that represent their respective ethnicities.
I came home and began to Google and learned that this is indeed the way things are. That over the years there have been a couple of Asian Barbie dolls dressed in traditional ethnic costumes and one rather disturbing "Lingerie" Barbie who looks more like a call girl then a kids toy. For the record I don't look like her. I don't have bangs.
Honestly in this day and age, with great ad campaigns like Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign, I had figured we had all evolved enough to be inclusive of all ethnicities.
I still remember the first time I saw Asian window mannequins at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. I was walking down the street and my jaw literally dropped when I saw them. It felt great to be represented. Even if their legs were a LOT longer then mine. LOL.
So back to Barbie. I'm not sure what will happen to our cinematic endeavor. At this point I think we may just print photos of us and cut them out. Heck that would be more cost effective anyways.
My new website The Flirty Guide will be inclusive not only of all ethnicities, but body types and genders as well. All I need is time to develop the illustrations for everyone so that when women and men come to The Flirty Guide they can say... "Hey THAT looks like me" which is one of the ways I'm trying to make all people feel welcome to come participate on the site.
Photo of me by: Craig W. Smith