As mentioned in July, Mattel worked with a black designer named Stacey McBride-Irby to create the "So In Style" black barbie dolls, which are "closer to a mirror reflection" of African-Americans. The ladies of The View had some issues:
"Black or white, they're still anorexic with breast implants," Joy Behar said. Well… It's Barbie. Sherri Shepherd assumed that the hair was supposed to be a weave. The long hair is on purpose, though: In an interview, McBride-Irby says combing her Barbie's long hair when she was a girl was the "highlight of my play experience." And some of the dolls do have curlier hair. But Sheri Parks, an associate professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland in College Park, says: "Black mothers who want their girls to love their natural hair have an uphill battle and these dolls could make it harder."
In any case, now that the dolls are out, it's hard to tell how they are doing: The AP reports that Mattel doesn't release sales figures; I checked Amazon.com and didn't find any customer ratings. Putting the financials aside, these dolls — who come in different skin tones and are sold with little sisters to mentor — do seem like a step in the right direction, even if Whoopi Goldberg and friends don't think they have enough booty.
Mattel Introduces Black Barbies, To Mixed Reviews [Daily Herald]