An animated video from the official Barbie Youtube channel has gone viral and moms and dads are applauding the iconic doll brand for discussing racial discrimination and the black consciousness movement in a way kids can understand.
In the 3 minute video, the famous blonde Barbie doll is shown having a conversation with her friend, Nikki, a Black doll. She starts off explaining how there’s millions of people around the world who are standing up to fight against racism. She explains that the reason they’re doing this is because for many years people have been treated unfairly, and even been hurt by others, because of the colour of their skin.
Barbie says, “It’s stuff that’s difficult to talk about – but it’s exactly why we have to talk about it.”
Nikki agrees, explaining to Barbie that “people might think that my life looks fine, but the truth is I, and so many other Black people have to deal with racism all the time.”
She points out that “It’s really hurtful and it can be scary and sad.”
Nikki then tells Barbie about different instances when she was judged based on the colour of her skin.
“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,” Nikki shares. “The security officer thought I was doing something bad, even though I was doing exactly the same thing that you were doing.”
She also relates a bad experience with a teacher in her [French] club, who said she only did well in a test because “she got lucky”. He just assumed her French wasn’t good!
Barbie asks Nikki why she didn’t stay in the club and prove her teacher wrong.
“I don’t constantly want to prove and re-prove myself,” she replies. “He supported you right from the beginning and didn’t support me” she says, highlighting common experiences faced by people of colour.
Instead of going on the defence, Barbie patiently listens to her friend and reacts with sensitivity, acknowledging white priviledge, saying such assumptions had never been received by white people like herself.
“And that’s not fair, because that means that white people get an advantage that they didn’t earn, and black people get a disadvantage that they don’t deserve,” Barbie says.
The video ends with Nikki explaining that some people get hurt when others think the wrong things about them, which is why people are marching against racism. She also appeals that “if you see someone being treated unfairly, stand up for them.”
And we couldn’t agree more. This is exactly what our kids need to hear! As Barbie says, it’s only when we stand together that we can start to make a difference.
Watch the video below:
Content editor and writer on Living & Loving, Sonya has over 25 years experience in the media industry. She edited Living & Loving magazine for six-and-a-half years and is the former editor of Longevity magazine. She’s won numerous media industry awards and is passionate about the health and wellbeing of moms and children.
Outside of work, she enjoys trying out recipes, reading crime mysteries and thrillers, practicing yoga, and exploring new destinations.
Learn more about Sonya Naudé.