Friday, October 10, 2008

A little Reality would be nice - And a Vote

(Note to Zirbert- If I can wade through the most (and second most) confusing discography posts on your blog, you can make it through this one. I know you can. I have faith in you. ;) Now, on to the blog...)

I don't like to focus too heavily on things like skin color when making judgments on things such a A is better than B, etc. However, I do like a bit of realism in some ways. (I am building up to a complaint, don't worry. AND, believe it or not it has nothing to do with the Presidential race nor Congressional make-up, nor sports, nor the Miss America Pageant.)

Take these two pictures of the most recent additions to my Barbie Princess/Doll of the World collection.
One is from Denmark; the other is from South Africa. Can you tell the difference?

Anyway, those are not the dolls I am miffed about. They are both incredibly beautiful and I can't stop looking at them. (Normal reaction to new collection acquisition.)

My problem is with some other international-type Barbies.
What really set me off was actually a couple of dolls I do not even own.

The first two pics are of the same doll, Indian Bride by Mattel. The last is a more "everyday" India Barbie. Both of these were being offered on eBay by a seller in Chennai. I am not dissing the seller AT ALL. It is Mattel that has me miffed. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with these dolls?

I do have an India doll in my collection.

Anyone notice anything different about this one and the ones above?

OK, the lighter dolls may still be considered in the "realm of possibility." (But then again, Charlize Theron is from South Africa, and she bears a lot more resemblance to the Danish princess than the South African.

The college I went to in Alabama is a technology magnet for many international students in the fields of engineering, computer engineering, and space technology.

I have met a few people from India. (That really sounds stupid, doesn't it? Like that makes me an expert.) Most of the ones who were my actual friends (as opposed to acquaintances or people I passed in the hall) were AT LEAST as dark as the doll I already have in my collection. Generally, they had about the complexions you might see in, say, a latina. (A few even were mistaken for such in local Mexican restaurants.) If Mattel can manage to make their hispanic dolls tanner, why not the Indian?

Knowing that those others are supposed to represent Indians but are so pale makes them look ill to me. Like there should be an accompanying quote on the box...

"Even though she was dying of consumption, Shanti danced with her beloved on their wedding day and had one perfect piece of life before she keeled over dead." How romantic!

Actually, I do have some idea why the "for the Indian marketplace" Barbies are paler. Fairer skin is considered more beautiful, to the Indian eye; or so I have been told by people from India. (Again, I realize, that does not make me an expert.) That thought does not fill me with glee. It seems kind of racist/looks-ist, whatever. Like how all the Barbies when I was a kid were blonde. I hated that. Makes me wonder how little girls in India feel about these pale dolls.

I was tempted to bid on the bride anyway. That dress is INCREDIBLE! I think I will, instead, dust off the doll customizing tools and make my own Indian Bride.

I need to choose the right doll. Here, help me out. We'll have another vote.

I have one African American doll with light enough skin that she might work.
I have the feeling she is too African American, even with her light skin and string-straight hair to pass for Indian. Thoughts?

I have one hispanic doll in need of eye paint.
Her features don't scream out INDIA to me, but she might work.

Also in this pic I have one previously blonde California beach doll who needs paint and hair.
This one is one of my favorites (should I say that before the voting?) BUT she needs the most work, so...I don't know.

I have one Pocahontas who needs new hair (due to bad tangles) and the removal of tribal arm marking and price tag.
She seems a little on the somber side for a bride. And, all accidental-first-contact-misnomers aside, she doesn't look Indian.

And, last but not least..but forgotten from the group shot, this lovely with a more Asian look. The thing I don't like about her is the hair. I might be able to remove the red highlight and re-root black there. That would work. She would also need a paint touch-up. Pale pink lips will not do.

Which do you think I ought to use for my Indian Bride? Or if none of them are good, let me know that too.

Now, to show whole collection. From left to right: England, Navajo, India, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Greece, France, Japan, South Africa, Holland, Italy, China, Korea.

(Note- India is just a Doll of the World, not a Princess like most of the others. Spain is rather new. She is a flamenco dancer, but I cannot remember the exact name on the box. Also, not a princess. The Italian princess was actually called "Princess of the Renaissance" but, well...I have used the collection in teaching history and geography and "Renaissance" is little vague.
The Chinese doll is one of the "Festivals of the World" series. I added her to the collection because she was too beautiful not to. I have no plans to add other Festival dolls. They aren't to my taste for this collection.)

I am going to miss them when the holidays get here. BUT the thrill of anticipation at getting to decorate this mantle is certainly enough to get me through the next few months.


Zirbert said...

Yes, I made it through this entry as requested.

However, I'm afraid I have no opinion to offer on which doll you use to do.. whatever it is exactly you wanted to do with one of them... OK, I admit I drifted a little in the middle there.

I really like your idea for the box quote for the way-too-pale Indian bride, though.


Princess L said...

I think the one with the earrings,

RebelAngel said...

Thinking about re-doing a doll reminded me that I have been promising my girls a Barbie Nativity Scene for 3 years.

The Indian bride will have to be on hold until I can gather up and costume some magi and shepherds.

Votes still welcome, of course.

Princess L said...

I still think the one with earrings