Black Barbies

by Shaira Nixon / Garnet & Black

The overall idea of this style shoot was to highlight the idea of Black Barbies or Bratz. Growing up there was always limited access to dolls and Barbies that had darker skin. The typical blonde hair and blue eyes Barbie was the one everyone always got because that was considered to be the prettier one. Consequently, that was the doll that would get advertised to little girls the most. Black Barbies were never seen on shirts, in Barbie movies, or even advertised on TV. Which then causes little girls who have darker complexions to feel left out and think that they're not pretty, when in reality the lack of representation from early on causes such ideas to get created in little girls' heads. With this shoot, I wanted to dismiss this idea of the “perfect Barbie” having blonde hair and blue eyes. Instead, focusing on the importance of having the correct representation and showing that Black Barbie is just as beautiful. Along with the lack of darker complexion Barbies, there is a big lack of representation in male Barbie Dolls and on top of that darker, male Barbie dolls.

On the other side of the toy spectrum is Bratz. The introduction of Bratz brought in a new concept that Barbie lacked: diversity. Bratz became one of the first dolls that included different races and colors. Bratz also had different hair colors, different eye colors and different styles and aesthetics of clothing that captivated girls of all races and girls who had different fashion styles. It made them feel seen and appreciated. Each model in this shoot is seen wearing different aesthetics highlighting the concepts of different Barbie and Bratz Dolls. Each has its own vibe replicating the overall concept and ideas that Barbies and Bratz have. This shoot was made to bring light onto the idea of Black Barbies and Bratz and embrace the beauty of being Black.

Outfit Details: All items of clothing, shoes and accessories were either thrifted or came from the models themselves.

Models: Kyndal Adams, Kendra Wilcher, Joseph Orock, Robert Robinson III

Style, Makeup and Written by: Isha Singh

Model: Kyndal

Look 1: The overall vibe for this look was the classic, baddie Bratz. The black velvet crop top, zebra pants and pink fur jacket pulled the look together and created that Bratz vibe. The black platform shoes, pink clips and heart earrings added to the look as well.

Model: Robert

Look 2: The purple, cropped-fitted top and black fur vest fit perfectly into the Bratz/Barbie vibe. The fishnet stocking, black cargo shorts, and black platform boots were Roberts, and they went with the look perfectly.

Model: Kendra

Look 3: Kendra is seen wearing a black and white gingham pleated skirt, a pink hearts top, black platform baby doll shoes, white ruffle socks, a black beret and heart clips that brought the look together. The overall vibe I wanted for this look was a softer more feminine and girly aesthetic.

Model: Joseph

Look 4: Joseph wore a pearl-embellished, lilac cardigan, brown cargo pants, black boots, a black belt and a pearl headband. I wanted to create a light and radiant look with Joseph’s outfit.