Don’t be quick to celebrate the hijab-wearing Barbie

Source: AlJazeera


It is no secret that Mattel Inc.’s Barbie doll has done well, not only in the US but also globally. The franchise contributed nearly 20 percent to Mattel’s worldwide gross sales in the last quarter and was ranked as one of the top-selling US toy properties.

However, the company has also been incessantly criticised for its portrayal of unrealistic beauty standards – its white, ultra-thin, blue-eyed, lusciously-haired, ample-bosomed Barbie, it is argued, belies the realities of women who must eat, labour, provide care to children and the elderly, and survive intimate and public violence.

Mattel has often dismissed such criticisms. Only a couple of years ago, Mattel’s lead designer for Barbie said that mothers are to blame for girls’ body issues, and not dolls.

However, in recent years, the company has launched multiple new product lines, from career, petite, and curvy Barbie dolls to dolls that are non-white, to appease its critics. Earlier this month, it launched its first Barbie in hijab. Designed after Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, this doll is part of its “Sheroes” series. Mattel portrays this doll as serving as an “inspiration for countless little girls who never saw themselves represented in sports and culture”.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.