Black People : Racially Engineering the Pseudo-White Barbie

RAPTOR

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by Sean Posey

Black is definitely no longer considered beautiful in the world marketed to us by corporate media. The Black aesthetic has been Barbied out of the marketplace. For example, “Implants, probable skin lightening, colored contacts, and blonde hair have rendered” songstress “Minaj, physically, into another woman entirely.”

This article originally appeared on the website of The Hampton Institute think tank.

Black Barbie, while ostensibly representing ‘diversity,’ could not challenge the idea of white supremacy that is at the heart of the Barbie legacy itself.”

Only two short decades ago, black women graced both the charts and videos that provided the imagery for the country's biggest rap, hip-hop and R&B groups. Performers like SWV, En Vogue, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Zhane', and Adina Howard lit up airwaves, magazines, and television stations. Their visages represented the diverse colors of black beauty. In the early twenty-first century, however, that sundry black beauty has given way to a new crop of racially ambiguous performers representing the rise of the Pseudo-White Barbie.

The Pseudo-White Barbie look is now ubiquitous in popular music and the entertainment industry. Its symptoms range from the explosion of blonde hair on black performers to the increasingly bizarre racial engineering that characterizes artists like Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and Lil' Kim. "Black is Beautiful" is long gone, at least in the media and in the entertainment industry; instead, we are witnessing a transformation that, I argue, is already leading to the blotting out of black women in the popular imagination.

There is nothing racially neutral about the evolution of Barbie. Before we address the creation of the Pseudo-White Barbie, we must understand the roots of the Barbie phenomenon and the symbolic importance of blondeness as the symbol of white supremacy in the world of female beauty.

Hitler's Barbie
Barbie burst onto the burgeoning toy scene in 1959. Initially, both a blonde and brunette version was produced. In just a few short years, the adult-like Barbie took the doll market by storm. Eventually, the blonde version of the doll dominated the market, and Blonde Barbie has come to represent the gold standard of American beauty for generations of young girls. Blond Barbie acted as a miniature "white goddess."[1] And though Barbie is viewed today as quintessentially American, the doll's roots can be traced back to the racial imagination of Hitler's Third Reich.

During a trip through post-war Germany in the 1950s, American businesswoman Ruth Handler discovered an adult novelty that captured her imagination. Handler had come across a Bild Lilli doll. Modeled after a serial cartoon character, the busty and blonde Lilli, according to several authors, was essentially a sex doll.[2] More than that though, Lilli represented the continued German fascination with Aryan/Nordic symbols of female beauty. Hitler's obsession with race and "pure blood" acted as the cornerstone of Nazism. The Teutonic blonde with blue eyes symbolized the very pinnacle of female German beauty, with renderings and pictures of such women adorning propaganda posters and beauty parlors throughout the Reich.[3] Despite Nazism's fall, its beauty standards found continued expression in a booming post-war America.

From Aryan to American
Bild Lilli was easy to Americanize into Barbie for a number of reasons, chief among them being that blonde hair already carried powerful racial connotations in America. The "ultimate symbol of western femininity" belonged to the blonde.[4] During the mid-twentieth century, Hollywood introduced "Blonde Bombshells" to a public increasingly weaning itself on popular media: Jean Harlowe, Marlene Dietrich, Brigette Bardot, Jayne Mansfield, and Marilyn Monroe all represented this sought after American ideal. Bild Lilli easily made the cultural crossover to Barbie in the fertile soil of white supremacist America.

Blondeness carried powerful connotations in America, as it did in Germany during the early twentieth century. According to historian Julie Willett, "While the popularity of blondeness posed obvious contradictions, in that it signified purity in contrast to dark hair and dark skin and embraced a more sensual and sexual self, it also provided women with the means to break from a particular past."[5]

With the later rise of the Black Barbie, a similar scenario seemed to play out. Was the spreading popularity of blonde hair on black women an attempt to break from the past? As we will see, it does not seem to be related to efforts to embrace "purity," but perhaps it is an effort to deal with the penetration of non-black women into spheres where black beauty used to be more accepted.

Efforts to "claim" Barbie reaffirm white supremacy, the blonde ideal, and key tenants of consumer culture. For the Black Barbie persona is but one stage in the "disappearing" of black women from the popular imagination.
Read more: http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/racially-engineering-pseudo-white-barbie
 

Angela22

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Simply put; it is idolatry in the form of a caucasian woman, and a d**n shame, as well, to how many fall for it. :11300:
 

KingSango

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Aug 18, 2013
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It is Blackmen who love blackwomen bodies the most, their shape, their thickness, their hair and their cultural ways. When Black men aren't the consumer of goods and services being advertised because Blackmen have no money, how will Black beauty gain supremacy, let alone equal status? Nothing that happens can be separated from Liberation, until we liberate our people swinging wildly at every negative trend isn't going to help.
 

RAPTOR

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I don't think it's an issue of brothas not having money. It's a matter of not having some media (that we outright own) to broadcast what we deem beautiful.
Constant bombardments of what 'they' consider attractive has shown to have an affect on the psyche, especially when it comes
to sistas.
 

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