Karen Braithwaite is a mom any Barbie lover would be lucky to have: she is asking Mattel to make birthday party merchandise featuring black Barbie dolls.
Mattel already sells black Barbie dolls (Barbie’s black friend Christie appeared in 1968; these days Barbie herself is black) and certain black Barbie items, such as stickers. But their sets of party goodies — cups, plates, etc. — do not include a complete set with black Barbies. All the full sets portray Barbie as white.
Now Braithwaite, the mom of a five-year-old girl who requested a Barbie birthday party, and 14 other moms are asking Mattel through a Change.org petition to meet their needs. She writes:
Even though it seems like a small thing, 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.
As parents of children of color, we’re basically faced with the choice of either foregoing a Barbie theme altogether, or compensating for Mattel’s lack of sensitivity through labor-intensive DIY solutions.
Yeah … no. Mattel, do better than this! You can sign the petition here — and hope Barbies of color are coming to a birthday party near you soon.
Email me at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.