Thursday, July 17, 2008

Soror Barbie

Wow. What a day I'm having. First and foremost...Congratulations to my Sorors, the Elite and most Illustrious ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. on 100 years of Sisterhood and Service to all mankind. Sorors from all over the world have descended upon Washington, DC , the birth place of Alpha Kappa Alpha, for Boule and our Centennial Celebration. I am so proud to be a member and represent these beautiful ladies. I am also proud to say that Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has been honored by Mattel with an AKA Barbie! She is so beautiful and elegant, just like an Alpha Kappa Alpha Lady should be. However, you know I'm not blogging about this just to boast. Of course I have to address the haters!!

Now, that our Barbie has been revealed, there are several "black folk" who have taken issue with her appearance. Mostly non sorority members I'm sure, but nonetheless haters. Several blogs and comments have shown displeasure with the complexion of Soror Barbie. First of all its an honor to be able to say that. No other Sorority has been honored in this way. This is an accomplishment in itself and all Greeks should be proud of this. Anyhoo, because Soror Barbie is not "black" enough she is being criticized. So what... if the doll were chocolate she would represent better? Get out of here with that. African American women come in all hues. There is no one hue to represent us all. I don't believe the doll feeds into stereotypes about Alpha Kappa Alpha women only choosing other fair skinned women with long hair. I'm not fair skinned and I didn't have long hair when I joined. So what? My Sorors come in many different colors...long gone are the days of the ol"Paper Bag Test" that so many people keep eluding to.

Only "black" people not comfortable in their own skin and its complexion have such a problem. I'm proud this doll represents me and my Sorors, even though I'm not her complexion. She represents the Sorority as a whole as I do. For people to actually spend the time voicing their opinions over a doll that does not represent them anyway is ridiculous. Why not be happy that the features of the doll are true to African American women and not just the same white Barbie dipped in chocolate as previous dolls have been. The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice is not always true.

Skin complexion has always been the divide within our race. In the days of slavery, the light skinned slaves got to work in the house, drive the car, breast feed the babies, and cook the food for the master and mistress. The women were also privileged to be rapped, molested and sodomized at the whim of the good ol master with the husbands not able to protest. So, they may not have been in the fields but were enslaved nonetheless. The lighter skin still didn't exempt them from the word "Nigger" and the lynchings. Knowing this is the root of all this division,why not embrace the many colors instead of discriminating against one another because of it? Light skin is in, black is out...vice versa. Let that mess go.

Here's the tip: Get comfortable in your own skin, represent who you are and stop looking for others to represent for you. Be proud of who you are and carry yourself accordingly. You see Aunt Jemima is still a chocolate sista on top of that syrup bottle and pancake mixes. Are only dark skinned black folks supposed to cook pancakes or are we supposed to boycott this as well because the image represents the black women cooking in white kitchens?


Anonymous said...

Posted By:
That Divine Pink And Green Diva at 07/17/2008 4:13:37 PM
The simple fact is not of wiether this DOLL looks like me but what she stands for. Believe it or not there was a time when as a black little girl you couldnt go in a store and find a doll that looked like you or if you did she was exaggerated to no end . So please my black people lets not aruge over the "LIght skinnededness" of this doll but commemerate the progress this country has made to accomodate all ethnic groups. Plain and simple She was'nt made to hurt the feelings of darker woman or multinational woman she was meant to celebrate life ,The akas, and black women in general. Its a sad day in america when we can't see the progression ,we have worked so hard for right in front of us

msmith said...

Posted By:
MSmith at 07/17/2008 4:12:25 PM
Ok you people who are complaining about this need to get a life. There are much more important issues than what a stupid doll looks like. I completely agree with the person who said there arent dolls that look like the "bigger set" people, or races besides white or black. The problem with this nation is concentrating on issues that dont mean a damn thing. Why dont you people get out there and make a difference in the world and stop complaining. Why do african americans make such a big deal about how black a person is. Do you see white people arguing over how white they are? NO! People get a life, make a difference and most of all grow up.

Anonymous said...

Posted By:
LusciousDC at 07/17/2008 4:04:14 PM
Who complained. BLACK PEOPLE WAKE THE HELL UP! WHEN WE FIGHT AMONGST OURSELVES ABOUT DIFFERENCES IN OUR SKIN COLORS IT GIVES CREDENCE TO THE SAYING THAT "BLACK FOLKS CAN'T GET ALONG." Why does it matter if I'm darker or lighter than the next one? Will my black skin stop the next person from anything? NO! Will my light skin make me more special? NO! Black is black regardless of whether it's light or dark. Let's come together and lend a helping hand to a neighbor or even someone we don't know. Can't we concentrate on import issues, like Obama running for president? It is our chance to make history just like the first AKA sisters. Imagine that! a black president in my lifetime. Will wonders never cease? We as black people are hung up on our skin color more than any other race. We as black people have more racial issues within our own race than any other race. In my family alone, we have people ranging from extremely light (light enough to be described as a white woman during a traffic stop) to blurple (so black they look purple). Do we make a difference in our family about skin color, not seriously. We may suggest someone go get a tan, but that's about the extent of it. I love being black and I use to wish I was darker, but I've learned to live with the uniform I was issued.

I'm not a AKA, but congratulations to you all and I hope your sorority is around for another 100 years!

Anonymous said...

Posted By:
dckellygirl at 07/17/2008 3:57:53 PM
OMG if she was too dark people would complain, if she had bigger lips people would complain, we are only different hues so picking caramel seems like the best choice to represent a plethora of beautiful complexions among black women. Can we concentrate on more important things like why am I paying $80.00 to fill my gas tank and why do people still talk loud on their cellphones like we care what they are saying Oh and why can I hear your music if you are listening to an Ipod with headphones..Geeze get a life stop tripping over the color of the AKA barbie and be glad that there is one.

Indygirl said...

Posted By:
indygirl at 07/17/2008 3:52:10 PM
i think this is utterly ridiculous...........i am east indian... and the barbie doll that they made for india is tan.......... u dont see indians complaining because she is too light or tooo dark...........indians come in all shades as well........from light skinned to dark....... meaning black......... we are all proud to be INDIAn.. not white indian or tan indian or dark indian..............just indian........... so why cant African Americans accept each other for being "black".... light tan or dark........... i think she's a beautiful doll...........light or dark

Ms. Tytastic said...

Posted By:
MsTytastic at 07/17/2008 3:52:03 PM
It suprises me that most of the women who adore this doll and say she looks just like me are those "lighter" skinned black women. Don't get me wrong this is a very beautiful doll, but how would the lighter skinned black women feel if the darker skinned short haired black woman was viewed as being the most attractive. I'm neitherr dark skinned or light skinned i'm in the middle. I have both darker skinned females and lighter skinned females in my family and they are all beautiful regardless of their skin tone. Black men and "the yellow" black women need to get off of it. I have seen some pretty jacked up looking light skinned black females. So don't for a second get to thinking that because you are lighter skinned you are better than the darker skinned black women. Light skinned black women, you need to stop feeding into this bull crap that black men are putting in your heads, because you are not all that. My darker skinned black women, love yourselfs you are beautiful and you don't need a black man, a lighter skinned black woman, or the rest of society to validate that for you.

Stunner said...

Posted By:
Stunner at 07/17/2008 2:38:48 PM
I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and I'm so very proud, as well, for the AKAs and their accomplishments. I can't wait to see the day where all of the skin "obstacles" that the African-American race carries are dead and gone. I see beautiful Black men and women every day and, for me, the beauty is in the different complexions. Barbie dolls, even when they are black, don't show the various proportions of Black features. So 1. what do we expect? and 2. does it really matter? (Answer: 1. Not much and 2. No). Black folks, let's just live the blessed lives that we've been given and let folks know - as brother James put it, "I'm black and I'm proud!"

Candy Cat said...

I agree. While growing up many of the black dolls were very very dark and in my opinion darker than the average black female. But now this doll is light and in my opinion represents the same color as most Black females. So I do not understand the problem.

Again 1 doll has to be made not 50 million dolls in 50 million colors.

I say if a black woman wants a white doll, buy a white doll. If she wants a light doll, find a light doll and buy that one. If she wants a medium brown doll, find one and buy that one. If she wants a dark doll, find one and buy that one.

You can chose any doll you'd like. So what's the problem????

Reasonable 1 said...

Firstly although I am not a sorority girl I respect all the organizations for the productive contributions that they have made. However dispite the fact that it was senseless to even mention the skin tone of the doll AKA as well as other organizations cannot deny the fact that at one time a "certain look" was utilized in judging potential pledges at one time. I'm just saddened that people don't stop to realize how far AKA's have come and evolved beyond that. If the doll was too dark too light had long hair had short hair it just wouldn't matter and you can't please everybody. Anyways Congrats to the AKA's for surviving and keeping it pushing!

kamrynlee said...

Someone always a problem with something, and you can't please everybody. If the doll was too dark the doll would be criticized, if the doll was too light, the doll would be criticized. Focus on the purpose and significance of the creation rather than the skin color or hair length. That's what's wrong now.

citigirl 72 said...

Actually the doll does have black features and represents black woman...just of another shade. When I was a child there were two types of Barbie doll and then there was "Crystal" the dark skinned Barbie doll who didn't look much like me at all but I still loved the doll! People choose your battle's wisely and do your homework before you start stomping your feet and screaming this is not right! People come in all shades and sizes not dolls!

Vanilla Princess said...

Everyone always has an opinion. Women who are not AKA's generally don't know or can identify with what it means to be a SOROR. As a proud Alpha Kappa Alpha Soror, we are more than just pretty African American women who wear the letters and the pearls. Furthermore, for those who are defining the skin tone for our sorority evidently have a problem with themselves.

LadyL said...

First of all Greetings to the Elite and most Illustrious Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Skee Wee my Sorors!

100 years, and counting....

Now on to the matter at hand.

For me I am so proud to be able to be able to say FINALLY Barbie does look like me. A beautiful black woman. I remember growing up I couldn't always say that. She may not be my exact complexion, height, shape but the fact of the matter is she is representative of a beautiful African American Woman. I believe our Founders would be proud and as honored as I am that Barbie is paying tribute to African American women through this tribute to our beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Some people refuse to see the good in anything, always looking for something to complain about, instead of recognizing how far we have come. Personally I chose to ignore the ignorant. Skee Wee Soror Barbie!

mddgnumbernine said...

To My Sorors- Continue to do the hard work in your community, celebrate our history as we know it to be. Remember this Barbie is in celebration of "OUR" legacy, let not let those outside our organization put demands on our decisions. We only have to look at our website: www. and see how diverse our Sorors look, light, middle, dark, small, medium and large framed.
I'm also honored to hear that Michelle Obama will become an honorary Soror.

floosiemagoo said...

You disprove or devalue your argument by stating that Ms. AKA Barbie is, in essence, the wrong color and has the wrong hair texture. We Black people run the gamut of color and hair texture. That doesn't even begin to include this new genre of purchased hair. Most of which, I might add, look like Ms. AKA Barbie. Besides, she looks like my family. So would I have been wrong had Mattel made her darker, with textured hair and complained that she didn't look like me? Of course not. Somewhere in the not too distant past, surely my family members looked that way too. She's beautiful and I congratulate Mattel on creating such a beautiful doll celebrating such a wonderful event.

We get some props and then, it's still not enough. Dang.

mcstrick said...

First of all. That is a good article. My wife is an AKA and is celebrating in D.C. this week. It is ridiculous that alot of people would focus on the skin color of the Barbie but hey we still live in a color conscious society. My wife happens to be a little darker skinned than the Barbie but she happens to love it. I have seen the pictures of the founding women and most of them happen to be lighter than the doll from my perspective. I did not want to take this there but the comment from RevJessie has made me. I am white and the only reason that I care about the Barbie is because my wife is an AKA. I am quite sure that most white people don't care about this. Not only are blacks still caught up with the light skin vs. dark skin, they are becoming more racist towards everyone else. "Must be the music thats turning me OFF". If they made a Ken doll that looked liked RAKIM, I would buy it.

princessgirl said...


Mama Ama said...

Crabs in a bucket! There are ten crabs in a bucket, right? And they can't seem to get to the top of the bucket to get out, but every once in a great while one or two of the crabs makes it to the top. But when they do, several other crabs are hanging on their back trying to keep them from getting out before them. In the end none of the crabs get out, because the process keeps repeating itself. Everytime any of us (Blacks) get a little attention, or accomplish anything (ie like AKA) all the haters find reasons to pull them down by finding something, anything wrong with how they got that attention or made the accomplishment.
But, if we would stop hating for just one moment, we would see that even Mattel (which represents Whites) has made more progress than we have. Once all black dolls had big red lips, black black skin and strange hair with huge butts. Now the black barbie has light brown skin (which represents many of us) nice pouty full lips, beautiful black woman eyes and permed hair (which represents most African American women today). So we should atleast try to match Mattel's racial advancement, whether they are making money of not! Afterall, American is a capitalist society, isn't it? Get over it and appreciate that there is a black dolls that we can give our little black girls that looks more like her that a white barbie or a big red lipped, big butt, pop eyed and strange hair doll!!!
That's my too sense!
One Love,
Mama Ama

I know who I am said...

Ms Smith, have you ever encountered racism in america? Are you a Black Person? It doesn't seem so with what you're saying. You HAVE to acknowledge the past to conceive a better future. Would you like everyone to really forget fully so that history, as it so often does, repeats itself. No one wants a hand out but until EQUALITY is real for everyone in this country there will always be an issue.

This doll represents black people, specifically black women, so I think Black people should have a right to FREELY express their opinions, no matter what they are, just as you have freely and ignorantly expressed yours. Your dismissal of their freedom says alot about YOU! WAKE-UP!

Yes there has been progress but nooses are still hung on doors literaly. Until that type of behavior stops (behavior that reminds us of the horrible injustices done to our people) things won't change. Tell the noose hangers to stop. Tell people to stop stereo-typing black people and to view each american as an individual. Tell ignorant non-black people to stop yelling racial slurs at black people trying their hardest without complaining.

The jim crow era lasted until the mid 60's, if my math serves me correctly that was ONLY a little over 40 years ago. The battle for equality took the lives of great hard working black people who didn't just complain. No one tells any other race who suffered injustice to STOP COMPLAINING!!

You are bias and ignorant and you don't have the right to tell anyone anything. If YOU can get everyone in this country to treat everyone fairly, then WE will listen to YOU! Until then go back to whatever you were doing make an Apple pie or something.

Furthermore BET is the only network that carries shows fully geared toward black people. All of the Major Television networks are ran by and geared toward white people so WHITE ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION already exists, that's why B.E.T. was created in the first place.

You're lack of respect and Ignorance is really what fuels the divides that we face in this country. At least openly racist people are truthful. That way we can weed out who should and shouldn't lead this country.

Your attitude towards injustice is shameful and even worse, you try to disguise your prejudice as opinion. And it doesn't matter that you have a black friend or relative, who doesn't? still it doesn't mean you are'nt racist.

Lastly, just so you know Barack Obama is bi-racial. He's not Only black. There's an example of how ignorant you and lots of folk are when it comes to the dynamics of race. I really wish you could be black for just one day! ( by black I mean knowing who you really are, not living in an area where you spend every moment of your life trying to FIT IN)

alwayz sweet n sassy said...

For those who have time to sit and criticize a doll, yes you may need to get a life! A job wouldn't be too bad either. only because i think you have way too much time on your hands. get a hobby other than shopping for dolls to criticize. it is ridiculous for this to be an issue. if you have that much of a problem with the doll, you must really want to play with it. we are talking about adults here. so dont buy the doll!!! keep it steppin chumps...! dolls are just for show and play and they should look like every race. the idea is to buy the doll YOU like and not worry about what someone else may spend their money on. i dont think anyone is planning on buying the doll, and putting it in your shopping bag. Now for "I know who i am"...i feel you on "mssmith" where the hell she come from with all this "YOU PEOPLE" is there is some new blood out that you bleed, or fresher air you are allowed to breath? because you are considered "YOU PEOPLE" as well, I dont care if you are African American or not. doesn't really sound like this person IS of this beautiful chocolate community here...but it is ok, if ms smith is not black i bet she has her uses for them. and of course if she is you remember a term they use to use back then i think....its..."uppity nigger" she is just like the crabs in "mama ama" response. she is a crab, since we are considered "you people" she must be an alien. so as far as i am concerned she is alienated. im not going to waste key strokes responding directly to the alien. God is going to visit her too...then again, he may not!!

Desperate for Change said...

I really am appauled at the level of ignorance amongst our people. We have a black man on the brink of becoming Commander and Chief of this Country. Shouldn't we best unify our efforts by helping him achieve this goal instead of arguing over skin complexion. That's all this boils down to.

Alpha Kappa Alpha isn't the problem nor is Mattel. The problem is the mentality of our people. Again when slavery existed there was division of the races...but that division didn't happen because the slaves wanted it, it happened because of the slave master. The white man destroyed us with the old adage "divide and conquer". That's exactly what they did. By turning us against each other they were and are able to control us because we can't get unified on anything. Granted, some fair skinned blacks were able to "pass" and did to make their lives easier, but really, can you blame them? I get the fact that darker skinned people who couldn't pass took the brunt of the hatred and therefore developed a resentment towards the fair skinned passer, but that was back then. Blacks aren't trying to pass now. If most of us can adjust and work with the whites and learn to fit in with them, then why can't we forgive each other for past wrongs and unify.

Our race has been divided since we stepped foot off the boat and stepped on the auction block. What is it going to take to bring us all back together? Dr. King did not die for us to still have these issues and for "King Blood Smearing, Jessie Jackson" to still be downgrading our future black leaders. (When Dr. King was shot, Jessie immediately smeared his own shirt with Rev's blood instead of trying to help him. Then the next day he showed up on television wearing the same shirt as to say he was splattered with his blood and deeply affected by the murder. Yes he was and is an opportunist).

Our many colors should be celebrated, not hated on. We are the most diverse race and yet we harbor jealously towards one another for having more or less pigment than us. God didn't make us with a cookie cutter and therefore didn't mean for us to look the same. We are a melting pot of differences, a diasporia of culture. We should rejoice about that. Sororities and Fraternities should not be hated on or acused of being elitest. Sororities and Fraternities shouldn't hate on each other because they are all woven with the same threads and fabrics of sisterhood, brotherhood and service. There should be no such thing as jigaboo's and wannabee's, just brothas and sistas united together. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We don't have to look alike to act alike. Obama, you have your work cut out for you and you must first start with your own people!