What I am loving: Sasha and Malia’s natural hair January 30, 2009
I am a little confused about and uncomfortable with the attention being devoted to Michelle Obama’s hair. While I have never followed the President’s family closely enough to be sure, I doubt that other first ladies have been so seriously scrutinized. There are a number of conversations in the blogosphere and on websites making claims about the first lady’s hair. Some think that she has lye free natural hair and others are arguing that her hair could not possibly look that way without a relaxer. Scariest of all, a sizable group of advertisements are popping up with the claim that smooth hair can be achieved without a relaxer. Actually that wasn’t the scariest thing of all. The really scary thing is that her “chemically relaxed” hair has been discussed in Chicago’s local news. The Philadelphia Inquirer insists that all black women have been focused on her hair more than anything else. No, we have not been listening to her wonderful speeches. Black women are only concerned with her “heavenly mane”. Apparently, all black women ” have been trying to get that hair nirvana – without chemicals.” Is this really what is most important to us? I promise, I am not making this up. Does that seem a little bit odd to you? Or is it me?
Black Is In? January 26, 2009
Black is in, according to Larry King, but no one wants to admit President Obama’s role in ushering what I hope becomes more than a seasonal fashion trend that will be passe by the end of his term.
So far two companies, Beanie Babies and Mattel Inc. have launched a line of black dolls. However, both companies assert that the timing of the creation of their dolls has nothing to do with the election of the nation’s first black president.
What does the sudden spotlight on African-American dolls mean for little girls? African-American girls? Will little black girls now see girls of every hue playing with brown dolls? Will mothers who are not black allow their children to own black dolls? What if their children come to prefer black dolls over white dolls in a classic reversal of Kenneth Clark’s doll test. ?
January 23, 2009 · CNN MONEY
The line, which features three adult dolls, was previewed in a video at the Mattel and Fisher-Price Sneak-Peak Tour in New York one day after America’s first African-American president, Barack Obama, took office.
The company has shown the dolls to prominent women in the African-American community to ensure their authenticity and in an effort to possibly recruit a spokesperson for the new line, the Mattel representative said. The company wouldn’t release the names of the women it consulted.
While Obama’s election shows a diminishing racial divide in America, the company representative said, the doll line was conceived prior to Obama’s announcement that he intended to run for office.
The line was inspired by Mattel toy designer Stacey McBride. The price of the new line will be in the same range as other Barbie lines.
The line differs from the company’s prior releases of African-American toys, in part, because of its facial features. As an example, the toys have fuller lips and different cheek bone placement and nose structure.
The company has shown the line to several retailers and said many have responded well, the company said.
In 1968, Mattel introduced an African-American doll named Christie, according to the company’s Web site.
-By Aja Carmichael, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5218; aja.carmichael@ dowjones.com
When it comes to Zahara Jolie-Pitt, many self-appointed cultural critics feel that they have a lot to say about the beautiful four year old daughter of actress Angelina Jolie. Among many blacks there is much conversation about Zahara’s hair and the fact that her mother is not, “doing anything about it.” However a recent comment in the Herald Sun suggests that Jolie is doing a lot more to affirm Zahara’s sense of self than many black mothers are doing for their own.
What do you think?
” …When it comes to the subject of adoption, like when my daughter, who’s African, wants her hair to look straight like mummy’s . . . and I look for a Barbie that’s African, and the African Barbie has straight hair! And you know, why has Disney never made a film with an African-American princess?”
Herald Sun; November 14, 2008