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In 1959, Mattel, Inc. launched a fashion doll that is now famously known as Barbie. It is one of the most successful toy lines ever but the plastic doll has also faced a great deal of scrutiny. The main complaint is that Barbie promotes a standard of beauty that most females do not fit into; especially African American girls.
Many people would argue that Barbie dolls do not have a profound affect on their young owners’ self image or view on beauty, but Karren Byrd is one person who vehemently disagrees with this sentiment. Byrd creates “Natural Beautiful Hair Dolls” that accurately represent the beauty of African American women. Her line of dolls sport natural hairstyles including afros, twists and locs. I got an opportunity to pick Ms. Byrd’s brain about her childhood and her beautiful creations.