For many young girls and boys, race does matter. But are a couple of dolls of different ethnic backgrounds enough?
America has always been a multiracial country, but these days, particularly with the election of the first multiracial president, our diversity has been closer to the forefront of our collective consciousness. And it’s a trend that isn’t lost on America’s biggest toy manufacturers, which in recent years have ramped up their production of toys that target and reflect a diverse population. Still, a look at toy store shelves will tell you that the number of non-white dolls out there isn’t close to matching the U.S. population, of which 43% are minorities, according to The New York Times. But do a mix of dolls really reflect our diversity? And how are kids likely to feel about these products? For example, Mattel’s (Stock Quote: MAT) So in Style black Barbie dolls, with features that are much different than the white Barbie, may not be “black enough” because of their hair, The Wall Street Journalsuggests. However, the Journal quotes one mother saying, "If they had given the dolls short, kinky hair or an Afro, people might have complained that it was too Afro-centric … We're so hard and picky." Photo Credit: Amanda M Hatfield