Doll with dreads sparks debate: What should Barbie look like?
The launch of an Oscars-inspired Barbie doll that looks like actress Zendaya Coleman—dreadlocks and all—has sparked an online debate about what Barbie should look like.
The release of the doll, which was presented to Coleman in Los Angeles on Saturday, came after Mattel announced a plan earlier this year to boost dwindling Barbie doll sales by focusing on diversity. Now, using the #raiseyourvoice hashtag, many feminists across Twitter communities are declaring what kind of dolls they want to see in the future. They're also debating what diverse representation could mean for young American girls of all body types, religions and backgrounds.
See photos of Coleman and her Barbie:
The hashtag, promoting the "Raise Your Voice" slogan, was originally intended to promote a Mattel-sponsored singing competition and launch of new dolls, including the Zendaya Barbie. But it became a feminist battleground when, as thousands of women of color celebrated Coleman online, singer and actress Demi Lovato tweeted that she wants to model a more realistic "curvy" doll to round out Mattel's diversity plan.
Lovato quickly deleted the tweet after many scorned her, calling her a typical "white feminist." Others criticized petite Lovato for offering herself as a role model for plus-size girls. Her fans, though, jumped to her defense, promoting new hashtags such as #curvesforbarbie and "spamming" official Barbie Twitter and Instagram accounts with support for curvy dolls.
Overnight, forums ignited with talk about the fledgling feud between Lovato and Coleman fans, while others more generally discussed what diverse models of Barbie could look like.
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