This week, we were invited to meet Barbie Designer Stacey McBride-Irby and view the new line of African-American line of dolls, So In Style™ (S.I.S™) by Mattel.
The line was created to serve as role models for girls in the African-American community by fellow mom, Stacey McBride-Irby. I loved hearing Stacey's story about playing with Barbies as a girl, dreaming of being a designer and realizing that dream culminating in the launch of the So In Style™ line. The dolls were designed with more authentic-looking African-American facial features than just the repainting of Barbie.
There are six dolls in the line: Grace and her sister Courtney, Trishelle and her sister Janessa and Kara and her sister Kianna all with varying interests ranging from science to art.
Barbie So In Style Grace & Courtney Dolls
Barbie So In Style Kendal & Kara Dolls
My daughter had a wonderful time playing with dolls while enjoying tea at Alice's Tea Cup. While I am thrilled that Mattel is introducing the new line that is more in line with all the hues of the community and includes the doll's varying interests that makes them more of a role model, as a parent and a mother, I was somewhat struck by the attire of the dolls. They were a tad too dressed up with bling in my opinion. Frankly, I don't think my daughter was interested that "Grace" was interested in science negating the designer's intention. All she wanted to do was play with the dolls.
I think we as mothers are always looking for toys especially dolls that will empower our children, serve as teaching tools that tells them they can do and accomplish anything, especially girls. But it's hard to fight a girl's natural inclination to just make up their own stories based on their real life experiences and just play.