Mattel has launched a new line of black Barbie dolls with fuller lips, a wider nose and more pronounced cheek bones — a far cry from Christie, Barbie’s black friend who debuted in the 1960s and was essentially a white doll painted brown.
The “So In Style” line, which hit mass retailers last month, features BFFs Grace, Kara and Trichelle, each with her own style and interests and a little sister she mentors: Courtney, Janessa and Kianna.
The dolls reflect varying skin tones and Trichelle and Kianna have curlier hair. Barbie designer Stacey McBride-Irby, who is black, said she wanted to create a line of dolls for young black girls that looked like them and were inspirational and career-minded. For example, Kara is interested in math and music.
“I want them to see themselves within these dolls, and let them know that black is beautiful,” she said.