‘Does Anyone Black Work There?’ Barbie With Blond Hair And Cornrows Sparks Controversy

By Lisa Gutierrez
The Kansas City Star

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) To promote Hulu’s new Barbie documentary, the Instagram account posted a photo that is drawing plenty of criticism.

The Kansas City Star

Barbie has been many things over the years — Air Force pilot, pediatrician, NASCAR driver, president of the United States.

Now some people think she’s a fashion don’t.

To promote Hulu’s new Barbie documentary, the Barbie Style Instagram account posted a photo of three Barbies sitting on a couch with a computer.

“Movie night with my girls to watch the @Hulu premiere of the new @Barbie documentary, Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie!” the caption read.

The two white Barbies wore their hair pulled back into ponytails. The black Barbie had dark cornrows on one side of her head and curly blond hair on the other.

The hairstyle prompted much head-shaking, confusion and even anger on social media, even as some applauded Mattel for continuing its diversity efforts.

Why is the Barbie for sale without her WEAVE DONE?
— Kevin (@KevOnStage) April 30, 2018

They just couldn’t give sus a simple bob?
— Binderella (@Keylo__) April 28, 2018

Lol barbie… this is actually just embarrassing. Like they wanted to fit every black hair style 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 !
— Eno Boateng (@Enooo_x) April 30, 2018

@Mattel @Barbie On behalf of the Afro-X population we demand that there be a Aro- X rep on the design team advocating proper representation b/c caricature of us NEEDS A RECALL

If there was an Afro-X rep on the team FIRE HIM/HER! We no longer affiliate w/them!
— ThurZday (@Its_ThurZday) April 30, 2018

In March, for International Women’s Day, Mattel introduced three new collectible Barbie dolls based on historical “Inspiring Women,” including Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician whose work was spotlighted in the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures.”

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