viernes, diciembre 23, 2005

Toys, Holidays, and White Supremacy...

On Sunday L* and I rushed off to a Target (store++), to get groovy girls for the four little sobrinitas. Alas, there appeared to have been a run on groovy-girls-de-color: There was one Bindi, with warm brown skin, dark brown hair with purple-red streaks in it, and all the rest were blonde. We decided to buy the one Bindi for the sobrinita who's far away and try again for the threesome.

I did look online, for groovy girls, but the shipping would've cost more than the dolls.

(See, the whole idea is that I crocheted ponchos for the sobrinitas, and I wanted to give each one a groovy girl with a matching crocheted poncho. It took me several failed ponchos, but I finally invented the right groovy-girl-poncho-pattern. And so I went looking for more dolls)

I tried the Toys R Us in Emeryville (practically Oakland), where I discovered they don't carry groovy girls. No biggie, right? there's got to be other dolls for people of color. Well, there may be, but they weren't there. Maybe 5% of their dolls were African American and all the rest were blonde haired, blue eyed....What's the deal? Is every Anglo child in this nation blonde-haired- blue-eyed? NO! So why this racial hegemony at the toy store? I look around at all the people of color around me who don't want to buy this peach-skinned flaxen haired plastic babies for their children to hug. I'm roaring inside. Oh, right. That's the point. We're supposed to see that the world is made for blonde barbies and blonde baby-dolls, and we're not in the picture. That's right. It's supposed to be an alienating experience.

There were quite a few African American baby dolls in the "Lots to Love Babies" line, which I guess were extra-plump? the baby dolls all had those little old man pechos.

(I was walking along muttering to myself "All I want is a doll that's not all about breeding or blondeness)

(There was one intriguing doll named Maya, who seems to be part of a Maya and Miguel team. She was the right size, but I can't get all three sisters the same doll. Plus her ponytail bobbles were supposed to light up, and only one of the three dolls in stock still worked)

(I'm also not counting all the Bratz dolls, because, while they come in multiethnic variety, the Toys R Us seemed to have blondes, blondes, and more blondes. Only a couple purple-haired Latinas and African Americans)

This evening I was at the Walgreen's at Foothills and Fruitvale Avenue. Now, their toy section is just a couple of half-aisles--less than the greeting card section**. But they had several "11.5 inch fashion dolls" of Jayna an alternative line, Integrity Toys. They also had something akin to a Cabbage Patch kid. Now it looked like their stock was about 50% white dolls and 50% brown dolls, but that a lot more of the brown dolls had been purchased. Maybe Toys R Us deals strictly with Mattel.

++I felt the need to clarify that we were running off to the store, because to say we ran off to a target makes us sound like professional assassins.

**Speaking of the greeting card section, they have a Mahogany line and a Latino line of greeting cards. I especially liked all the Virgen de Guadalupe christmas cards designed for Mamas and Abuelitas.

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