I was on "that other board", the one my frustration with made me finally start keeping this blog, talking about my adventures finding So In Style Chandra (above) and Darren, and feeling pretty good about finding them after hitting two Walmarts and one Target where they were sold out. I finally found them at TRU, and was enjoying the praise of my fellow doll-hunters, when I read a post that made me see RED....
I'm going to post it here in its entirety and I'm going to print the troll's name:
Mattel needs to stop with those Al Jolsen lips on the AA dolls very insensitive - Mark
Excuse me??? One - she doesn't have Al Jolson (and learn to spell his name right, troll!) lips. She has full lips, the way that most black people have. Hell, even Angelina Jolie has lips like that!
Two - To say a doll has "Al Jolson lips" is to imply that she's covered in tar, or whatever the hell Jolson used to get into "blackface". I think the real problem for this troll - although they won't come out and say so - is that she's too dark for him. I remember reading a post on another board (that OTHER other board) where a person was complaining that Best Model Nichelle was "too dark". She claimed that you "could barely see her features because she was so dark".
I refrained from posting to that particular quote because a) if she couldn't see that the doll was dark skinned from the promo pics, then she was blind as a bat; and b) what the hell did she mean, "too dark"? I'm convinced that the troll above and the poor Best Model Nichelle buyer were both just uncomfortable with the fact that black dolls are not simply white dolls that have been "chocolate dipped".
AA consumers are quite familiar with "chocolate dipped" dolls - the ones that look like Barbies, but you know, are black. Same straight noses, thin lips, but darker skin. Sometimes they just look like Barbies with a dark tan.
The So In Style dolls were one of Mattels attempts (spearheaded by consumers) to come up with dolls that actually have "ethnic sculpting". To give Mattel props, they did have Malibu Christie and Brad/Curtis back in the 70s that had dark skins and fuller lips. I know, because Malibu Christie was the only "Barbie" I had as a child, because my parents refused to buy my their daughters white dolls. They wanted us to have dolls that looked like black people - and why not? To have only white dolls in existence is to say to everyone else - "You're ugly. You don't matter."
And it's not just black people who have problems with the typical Barbie - I have white friends who refuse to buy anything but brown haired or redheaded barbies. Some even want only the short haired Barbies (talk about rarities!)
And that's why I was offended by this person saying that Chandra had "Al Jolson lips". Because not everyone in existence is blonde, blue eyed, straight haired, pale skinned and thin lipped.
Finally, if you don't like the doll, guess what? You don't have to buy her!
But I was polite and this is what I wrote back:
As an AA person, I'm glad that Mattel has dolls that look like most AA people and not just dolls that have caucasian features with darker skin tones (ie Black Barbie from 1980, AA Superstar Barbie, etc.)
... and go fuck yourself. Seriously.