Harlem Mom Petitions Mattel for More Black Barbie Accessories

Karen Braithwaite filed a Change.org petition after having a difficult time with her daughter's birthday theme party.

Posted: 04/02/2013 11:49 AM EDT
Black barbies

A Harlem mom is leading a petition to ask Mattel to create more accessories featuring Black Barbie dolls. Karen Braithwaite was trying to coordinate a Barbie birthday theme for her daughter's fifth birthday when she realized how hard it was to find appropriate supplies. Although Mattel creates a line of Black Barbie dolls, accessories like plates, cups and other party décor are typically adorned with the blonde-haired, blue-eyed version.

Braithwaite's Change.org petition has brought together 14 Harlem moms and has collected more than 3,000 signatures asking the toy company to provide more diversity in its party theme offerings.

"Barbie represents a positive image of a confident young woman who is fashionable, who can be anything from a fairy, to a doctor, to an astronaut," the petition says. "Barbies of color represent all these things to young girls of color, and the Barbie theme is a very popular birthday party theme. Mattel is already on the right track by offering a wide selection of dolls of different races and ethnicities which simply begs the question: why not give young girls of color the option of seeing and celebrating that same diversity when it comes to celebrating themselves?"

According to DNAinfo New York, a Mattel spokesman sent an email stating they will take the feedback seriously and will work with distributors "to start conversations and evaluate the business."


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(Photo: Courtesy MATTEL)

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