ZendayaColeman, the nineteen year-old star of Disney series “KC Undercover”, singer and former finalist on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” will now, according to Billboard.com, be immortalized as a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll. Manufacturing company Mattel announced on Twitter that Barbie will commemorate Zendaya’s elegance and poise from the iconic 2015 Oscars moment when she responded to critics about her dreadlocks.
During a recent visit to the Mattel offices, Zendaya discussed her relationship with Barbie growing up:
“When I was little, I didn’t have one that looked like me, so I couldn’t connect with her in that way. But getting to visit the Mattel offices and see Barbie’s vision for the future…I was able to see how they plan to diversify, broadening the horizons and the image of Barbie, and make it more, you know, open. I left the office feeling it was definitely something I wanted to be a part of.”
Z will host an upcoming VH1’s Save The Music benefit entitled “Barbie Rock ‘N Royals Concert Experience” on Sept. 26 in Los Angeles, during which the doll will be on display.
When Karen Braithwaite (pictured) could not find party supplies for her daughter’s fifth birthday gathering with images of Black Barbies, she took her gripe to Change.org and YouTube in order to twist the corporate arm of the famed doll’s manufacturer, reports CBS New York.
The Harlem-based, 40-year-old human resources manager could not fathom why the toy company makes Black Barbie dolls but failed to create a culturally diverse line of party goods that would follow suit. She refused to purchase supplies with images of blond-haired, blue-eyed Barbies for her daughter, Georgia (pictured), despite the child’s insistence.
Braithwaite is at the helm of the group of 14 Harlem moms who have taken up their concerns with Mattel. The Change.org online petition that Braithwaite started last month has thus far garnered nearly 5,000 signatures. The request has reportedly not fallen on deaf ears and the toy maker, which manufactured its first African-American doll, Christie, in 1968, is reportedly considering the move to create the cultural party supplies.
On Mattel’s social media page, the company tweeted two replies to people who brought the issue to their attention: “We work closely with our partners to develop and distribute Barbie products such as party supplies,” and “We will be sharing your valuable feedback with them to start conversations and evaluate the business.”
In February 21st’s issue of Collector’s Weekly, Associate Editor Lisa Hix wrote a thoughtful, in-depth article entitled “Black Is Beautiful: Why Black Dolls Matter.” Hix’ piece covers the comprehensive history of black dolls, from early 19th century Topsy Turvy dolls (pictured above) to Limited Edition Black Barbies (pictured below). GBN encourages you to click here to check it out.
Barbie Collector edition doll, called “In the Limelight” was the first featuring clothing by black designer Byron Lars.