Barbie Goes Natural for Christmas

A Georgia group hopes that a holiday giveaway will offer black girls the gift of self-acceptance.

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A Georgia group plans to give Barbie dolls to kids in Columbus' Booker T. Washington Apartments this Christmas. But the real gift they hope to deliver is self-acceptance.

Candace McBride, a member of the African-American natural-hair group coordinating the giveaway, told the Ledger-Enguirer that it's hard to find dolls with brown eyes, let alone hair that will remind black girls of their own. So she found an online tutorial that uses pipe cleaners and boiling water to give Barbies natural-looking curls. The plan is to collect and make over about 40 dolls before handing them out.

"We wanted to show the girls that basically, it's OK the way God made you," said member Jennifer Henderson.

Giving plastic toys a trip to the hair salon sounds like a huge undertaking. But maybe that's the kind of thing it takes to combat the pervasive and problematic messages about beauty with which black women are inundated, beginning in childhood. And it's as good as any other idea we've heard to combat this generations-old issue.

If the giveaway goes according to the group's vision, 40 lucky girls will get both toys to play with over Christmas and a powerful message that will stick with them long after they outgrow playing with dolls.

Read more at the Ledger-Enquirer.

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