Barbie Discusses White Privilege, Racial Profiling, and Microaggressions On Her YouTube Channel
Barbie may have the reputation of being just a kid’s doll without much substance behind her shiny plastic face, but the truth is, the brand is seeking to do much more than that.
Last Wednesday, Barbie posted a video to her YouTube channel where she tackled the difficult topic of racism.
For those of you who don’t know, Barbie has a popular YouTube channel where she appears as an animated character in vlog-style videos. On her channel, along with videos like “DIY Rainbow Summer Party Ideas” and ” My Puppy Did My Homework?”, Barbie also tackles more serious topics from mental health to bullying.
In her most recent video, titled “Barbie and Nikki Discuss Racism,” Barbie invited her friend Nikki (who is Black) to discuss specific experiences in Nikki’s life where she felt she was treated unfairly due to the color of her skin.
Nikki then took center stage, telling stories of the microaggressions and unfair treatment that she has experienced as a Black woman. The language and concepts were in plain language that was easy for young viewers to understand.
Nikki starts by telling a story about how she was racially profiled. “Barbie and I had a sticker-selling contest on the beach last month. We split up and went our separate directions to see who could sell the most. While I was on the boardwalk, beach security stopped me three times. The security officer thought I was doing something bad, even though I was doing exactly the same thing that you were doing.”
Nikki goes on to tell another story about how her new French teacher discounted her amazing exam results by telling her she just “got lucky”. Nikki decided not to join the French Club because she didn’t want to have to keep proving herself.
At one point, Nikki says: “People did these things because I was Black, and they made the wrong assumptions about me.”
Through the video, Barbie is an ideal ally, offering Nikki kindness, support and empathy. She never tries to make her feelings seem invalid. She even tells the viewers about white privilege: “That means that white people get an advantage that they didn’t earn, and Black people get a disadvantage that they don’t deserve.”
According to Mattel Executive Lisa McKnight, these types of videos are part of their quest to “leverage” their “global platform” to tackle important topics.
“Being an ally includes having difficult conversations to better understand discrimination,” McKnight said to Insider. “We hope that by leveraging Barbie and Nikki to explore these conversations in a kid-friendly format, we can spark productive discussions for families and empower our next generation of leaders to become advocates for change, raising their voices against racism.”
We can’t wait to see what else Barbie teaches children through her YouTube channel.
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