Mattel about to launch first Barbie that wears a hijab


#41

The religious reasons themselves are not a problem too, until someone is forced to dress in particular way by parents, family or community they live in.

It would seem more reasonable(but IMHO still unnecessary) it it concerned only teachers/public workers, not students.


#42

Good for Mattel; the more diversity represented in their products, the better.

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#43

Yep, and I have no problems with what people wear, nor with any reason they wear it. I think bans of any type on adults displaying religious symbols of any kind are noxious. My limited understanding is that the wearing of hijabs is commonly (but not exclusively) a faith based choice. If I choose to dress myself, or my children in a certain way, I would have no expectation that toymakers cater to my whims by making toys that make them feel “included”. It is on me, not on toymakers. That my choices may, or may not be faith-based is irrelevant.


#44

My disagreement with you is that hijab is some kind of reliable signal of repression and anti-modern ideas. I have known a number of leftist and feminist hijabi women.


#45

Not entirely.


#46

But don’t think that the exclusion by mainstream toymakers of certain dress, or certain skin color, culturally works to reinforce stigmas and otherness that those children feel?


#47

I somehow missed that when reading New Testament. Thanks!


#48

Perhaps because Mattel’s market research indicated that need. Just guessing. I think girls would absolutely love it, but stores have got to be willing to commit to carrying the new Barbie.


#49

Hence, Vichy France.


#50

Well, Barbie and Ken have always been clothed and not-anatomically-accurate, so I’d say kids have already been learning those rules from the start…


#51

Yeah, that’s almost as good as: Americans have a long-standing rule on separation of religious and state matters, hence the internment of Japanese Americans in 1942.


#52

I’m racking my brains trying to think of one nation that definitely, demonstrably never had any sort of institutionalized racism/bigotry. Still thinking. Still thinking. And my brain is starting to hurt.


#53

OMG that Zendaya doll is amazing. I mean, they’re all great, but that one is striking.


#54

I’m rather concerned with the non-sequitur. Vichysts were mostly reactionary Catholic conservatives and monarchists, not republican secularists.


#55

In these Post-post-modern times, nothing new seems to be out of context anymore. Honestly, I am not being glib.


#56

I’m still waiting for “Unconventionally Attractive Barbie, Now with Rich Inner Life.”


#57

Testify, sister. That is the truth.

Barbie was somewhat forcibly decontextualized from her origins by the Mattel company, who used harassment lawsuits and other nasty tricks to try to eliminate the truth about her history. That’s why I know about Bild Lilli; in my work, I have to know about quasilegal intellectual property shenanigans that ethically challenged companies like to use to try to optimize their profits.

My fencing coifs are pretty much identical to the one worn by fencer barbie, except one of mine’s black. It’s not just about the hair, but that’s definitely an issue.


#58

A tangentially-related pair of pictures I encountered recently:

Women sailors (not sure which navy) wearing flame-proof anti-flash hoods

RAN captain wearing hijab


#59

Isn’t it, though? The designer did a fabulous job.

Her doll is especially significant because Zendaya was on the receiving end of bigoted criticism when she wore her hair ‘locked up’ on the red carpet at an awards show.

Mattel’s choice to commemorate the look not long afterward was most likely a calculated marketing move more than anything else, but it sent a strong message about embracing diversity.

That said, I find it interesting how many people seem to be focusing on Islam and its misogynistic attributes (which all Abrahamic religions have) as if that’s the topic at hand; never stopping to consider that commemorative dolls are designed to reflect the appearance of an actual living person.

Ibtihaj Muhammad infamously fences while wearing the hijab, so that’s how her doll is designed. The reason she wears it isn’t relevant to the topic at hand, IMO.


#60

A male companion doll for her will be sold separately. /hs