Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Barbie Dolls in Oman

Honestly. I don't like how white skin is marketed as more beautiful than natural skin tones to the Omani population which is rarely (can be but not often) as white as a "Barbie" Barbie doll or even a Muslim Syrian-made "Fulla" doll. Nor does Barbie and Bratz dolls always embody Omani values. We can blame Barbie I suppose for many unreal standards of beauty but I played with barbies when I was a kid and had no problems with my body image. I never went annorexic or wanted boob impants or a nose job or anything. Maybe cuz I found a doll that had the same hair colour and eye colour as me and dressed to suit my Western culture and values? And the fact that my mother sewed outfits for my dolls that I could find relateable to my life. I knew they were more perfect versions than life cuz they were pretend, and I would never stop little girls from playing with dolls or blame Vogue magazine for anyone's mental disorders ect. That's not exactly what this semi-rant post is about.This post is about how I went to all the toy stores in Oman and tried to find a darker skinned (even olive toned) doll and couldn't find a single one except for the bathing suit surfer cali girl one pictured above this sentance. I want the girls in my Omani family to be proud of their Islamic principles and think them as trendy as I used to think lipstick was, and to embrace their rich Omani heritage. I also don't want them to grow up thinking white skin is the only standard for beauty and the only bottle of foundation. And I was bored so I decided to sew traditional Omani dresses for a bunch of dolls and give them abayas ect. You know what? My thinking totally worked because "Sheikha" in her suri and henna totally beat out Blonde barbie in her pink ballgown in my neices' favour.
Above, one of my dolls.

8 comments:

bosnishmuslima said...

Well I also do not understand the hype about the white skin and you are absolutely right. It was a cute and at the same time profound idea of you!

Umm Aaminah said...

Masha'Allah sis, that is so beautiful! :-) I am sure the girls in your family are very lucky because you have the time and "mad skillz" to make this. :-)

Ma salaama...

meg said...

Beautiful work on 'Sheikha'!! I think you are entirely right with your idea about the Barbie mindset. I bet you could easily start a business by providing this to all young girls in Oman (and beyond). Even just the dresses, abayas and whatnot.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Umm Aminah: I make sure that whenever I watch TV I am making something, a doll, a shayla, and abaya, ect... that way i don't feel like TV ate up my day:)

Boxie said...

:) mushallah good job, My fave was skipper cuz she had brown hair and a bit darker. but my can seemed to only attack the brown haired ones leaving me with only blonds that i never played with hahah. So I played with my cats more.

Pam said...

Now Barbie markets different Dolls from different backgrounds. Before we did not enjoy it because they were saving costs, selling one type of doll and that was it. As Hispanic kid, I've never saw the best latina friend of Barbie on the shelves, who is Theresa, instead the distributors of Barbie in my country were getting the normal blonde, American Barbie, and that was sold. I guess it happened before. Now things are different and globalized and now they produce dolls of all colours and flavors ;)

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Thank you all for liking my handiwork:)

Aliyah said...

mashAllah very good thinking. really i love ur idea. and regarding the color of the skin, its normal that white skin loves dark one and the opposite. i dont understand why they believe white is perfect when the white girls die to become tanned. anyways, amazing doll.
did u make the omani traditional clothes to the barbie doll??