Barbie is launching a new set of African-American dolls called So In Style, or S.I.S. There are three full-size dolls, each with a smaller sister or protege doll. Designer Stacey McBride created the dolls with full noses, full lips and plenty of attitude. Each doll has a theme — a girly girl who is a drill team squad leader, a funky and fun girl who enjoys art and journalism, and a sassy and smart girl who loves math and music.
I applaud the themes, which show black girls they can be fun and smart. I do take issue with the hair, though. While it is darker, the texture is a lot like the original Barbie, and I couldn’t help but notice some of the hair colors remind me of Beyonce’s golden tresses. At a time when so many black women and children are sporting teeny weeny Afros, braids and twists, none of the dolls has such a ‘do. Only one appears to have natural hair.
I’ve never been a big fan of Barbie. So, it’s no surprise Simone and Nadia don’t have any. For now, I will give this new Barbie a temporary green light. If any show up unannounced — I don’t always have control over these things — I’ll try my best not to hide them under a bed or in a closet.