I’ve stayed away from the discounted Black Barbie story at Walmart because I thought it was a tempest in a tea cup and that with a little time to mellow a different story would emerge from all the clatter. That is what has happened, thank goodness.
From The Root:
To Whom It May Concern,
After all of the recent controversy over a silly photo that was taken of my friend Barbie and me, I’ve decided it’s time to speak up. We were hanging at Walmart last week when somebody decided to snap our picture. I’m not sure if it was paparazzi or a soccer mom or what–but that photo ended up all over the Internet.
Apparently, a lot of people were angry at the fact that I was being sold for almost half the price of Barbie. People wondered if it was some type of statement about the way African-American women are valued in this country as compared to white women. Especially white women with huge breasts, tiny waists and blonde hair.
I have to say, it does hurt a little–realizing that instead of gracing the shelves of FAO Schwarz or something, I’ve ended up half price at a Louisiana Walmart, of all places. I wanted to smack that disgruntled employee who came by and slapped a red discount sticker on my box. I’m worth just as much as the chick hanging next to me. Some might even say more.
But what hurts me the most is being carted down the aisle, hung up for display, and passed over time and time again by little black girls who would rather have a doll with blonde hair and blue eyes than one who looks more like them…
It’s not often that an unsung Walmart worker gets a nation (and a plastic doll) talking. This Barbie has a lot to say.