Lately, Barbie manufacturer Mattel has been working hard to produce diverse dolls that represent women of all colours, shapes, sizes, and even careers. The world famous doll now has a brand new version - actually, 10 new versions - that celebrates the beauty of black women and diversity.
For US stylist Shiona Turini, her history with Barbie is similar to that of many black women. Store shelves would be brimming with the collections in a range of different hair colours but when it came to complexion shades, options were few and far between.
“I grew up obsessed with Barbie and while she was one of my first fashion icons, I clearly remember searching shelves for a doll that looked like me and coming up empty-handed," Turini wrote on her Instagram recently.
The former editor and costume designer recently took things into her own hands by collaborating with Barbie Style to produce a diverse collection of black dolls, reported Elle.
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Black Barbie dressed in... || I grew up obsessed with @barbie and while she was one of my first fashion icons, I clearly remember searching shelves for a doll that looked like me and coming up empty handed. The first black Barbie was introduced in 1980 - in a sparkly red dress with an Afro pick in her hair. Here she is, on her customized throne, surrounded by friends created and styled by me. I hope other young children, and adult Barbie lovers, are as excited to see themselves reflected in these dolls as I am. Thank you @barbiestyle - for collaborating with me to create barbies with braids, finger waves and everything in between. Chicks by the layers, all different flavors. And even a curvy doll, in a crop top, with waist length twists. Baby Shiona is PROUD. Representation matters and I’m so grateful to be a part of this moment.
Turini's collection showcases the versatility of black beauty and features 10 models of different skin tones and sizes, including a doll in a wheelchair, in various colour palettes, all black, brown mixed with snakeskin, and red, the latter inspired by and featuring the first black Barbie doll.
"It was important for me to reflect Barbie as an icon through the lens of black culture during Black History Month," Turini said in a statement. "I drew inspiration from the first black Barbie, who debuted her all-red look in 1980. My vision was to style diverse dolls in bold looks, challenging traditional uniformity."
The stylist took to Instagram to share the exciting news with her fans and hopes that the range will also inspire young girls. "Here she is, on her customised throne, surrounded by friends, created and styled by me. I hope other young children, and adult Barbie lovers, are as excited to see themselves reflected in these dolls as I am," Turini wrote via her post.
She continued to write that representation matters. "Thank you, Barbie Style, for collaborating with me to create Barbies with braids, finger waves and everything in between. Chicks by the layers, all different flavours. And even a curvy doll, in a crop top, with waist length twists. Representation matters and I’m so grateful to be a part of this moment."
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