Barbie and Mattel have come under fire on social media for the outrageous hairstyle the new black Barbie is sporting. The introductory photo shows a black Barbie, with a half corn-row and half-blonde curly-haired weave.
Although most people are angry at the wacky hairstyle, others seem to think it’s not so bad. The internet is most certainly divided on this one, albeit with the scales tipping in favor of the angry mob.
The photo that started the controversy was posted on the Barbie Style official Instagram page. It featured an African-American Barbie sitting with two Caucasian Barbie friends.
It was captioned, “Movie night with my girls to watch the @Hulu premiere of the new @Barbie documentary, Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie! Check it out now at the link in my bio! #barbie #barbiestyle.”
In the multitude of comments spanning social media, Barbie’s wacky hairstyle has been called ‘horrid’, ‘unacceptable’, ‘ratchet’, and ‘a hot mess’.
The photo instantly started receiving comments expressing frustration and confusion at the black doll’s hair. One user said, “Who’s [sic] bright idea was it to style the AA Barbie’s hair like that. All of these beautiful brown women in all industries, you couldn’t find ONE to look for hair inspiration? Another user wrote,“You need to remove her and start from scratch IMMEDIATELY!!”
People are confused as to why Mattel would do this, as they have a whole range of Barbie dolls who have ‘normal’ hair. One woman questioned whether they even have any black people on staff.
She said, “Lol barbie….this is actually just embarrassing. Like they wanted to fit every black hairstyle on one head. The cornrows, the dyed weave, body wave bundles. Why? Why? Why? Just ask any black person and they will tell you, that you don’t do this anywhere. ANYWHERE!”
While most users expressed their anger and surprise at the heinous hairstyle, some didn’t quite understand what was so wrong with it.
One user said, “I’ve seen many with the same style as the third barbie.” Another chimed in, “The hair is cute they should have made the hair color the same through out”. Other positive comments included a user writing, “I think it looks great. I like all diversity.”
However, there was also a third group of people who thought that discussing Barbie hair in such detail was a waste of time.
One user angrily spewed, “For all the haters….it’s a DOLL. Get over it and worry about more important issues in life. Ridiculous.” Another questioned how many of the people debating over the black Barbie’s hair were actually Barbie doll collectors.
Over the years, Mattel’s Barbie collection has become much more inclusive. It includes dolls of different colors, sizes and shapes, unlike the cookie cutter blonde skinny dolls that were available earlier.
One user aptly summed up a neutral stance on the debate and said, “I think this is a step in the right direction. You’re going to get criticized but it shows the attempt to give more options.”