January 8, 2006
Written by C.N.
You can make up your own mind about whether or not this is a good thing. For me, it’s a little complicated because on several occasions, I’ve read how many Asian American cultural critics have lamented that there is no Asian American Barbie dolls for Asian American girls to play with as a reflection of their themselves. Now that they have Asian Barbies, we should feel satisfied, right?
Not necessarily, because you will notice that these Barbie dolls are based on Asian culture, not Asian American culture. As I keep telling my students, being Asian and being Asian American are not the same thing. On a certain level, it’s nice that the all-American Barbie line of dolls now includes those from other countries and cultures. But the vast majority of children who will be playing with these dolls do not live in Asia — they live in the U.S.
Therefore, in my mind, until there are Asian American Barbie dolls, the criticism will still continue.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Asian Barbie Dolls" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/01/asian-barbie-dolls/> ().
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