Observations of an Invisible Woman

How Little Black Girls Learn to Hate Themselves

Look at this and tell me if you had one growing up:

Barbie Collector 2012 Holiday Doll

Chances are, you did. And so did I. Mine was called Ice Princess Barbie and she was beautiful. Long, golden hair, a pretty glittery dress with little white ice skates. I remember going to our favourite store, Woolworth’s, to find another doll that resembled me. There was none. (And, please, Cabbage Patch Dolls do not count). Later, with the demand for more realistic dolls for coloured girls, Mattel, in their graciousness, made this:

Now, allow me to point something out. Black Barbie looks STRIKINGLY similar to WHITE Barbie, no? As if the only way black women are to be recognized and created by an esteemed doll factory, we must be white-looking…but dipped in chocolate. When we complained, yet again, they shut us up by making her:

*deep sigh*

What messages does that send to little black girls in AmeriKlan, who are ALREADY beginning to realize that something is amiss?

1. That this country’s standard of beauty does not include you.

2. That AmeriKlan hates dark skin, round noses, full lips, coarse hair…which is everything that makes you who you are.

3. That in order to have a dollmaker realize that you even exist (40 million of us) you must look like a facsimile of a white counterpart…but with a skin hue that’s “not too dark” so whites won’t get offended. Therefore, my friends, this is not about you…it’s about pleasing them. The mind-fuck is relentless. It begins at an early age and lasts well into adulthood. That’s why so many black women hate themselves, feel unworthy of being loved, tolerate abuse from lovers and wear that hurt like a “chip on their shoulders.” By the way, this too is apart of “The Plan.” Self hate will take the lives of more blacks than the master’s whip and gun any day of the week.

Which brings me to my point: I personally do not care for Mr. Disney’s innocent female characters. He began to perpetuate the white damsel in distress since about 1937 with Snow White eagerly awaiting a kiss from her prince to bring her back to life. This too messes with the psyche of little white girls…but for now, I will focus on my people. Let me ask you something. And before you answer…just take a hard, long look at this picture:

Now look at this one:

Ok….take a minute to study both pictures.

Call me crazy( some already do ) but the Evil Queen, drawn in darker colours, a black cape, red-black lipstick and dark blue eye shadow, wants to murder a young girl, who is deemed prettier, so she can be “fairest in the land.” What subliminal message is this giving out to black and white girls? That “darker” women are envious of them, want what they have and wish to see harm come their way. See any similarities between 1937…and today’s world? I do.

More than you know…which brings me to my second point.

When I hear the tale of a white girl who threw acid in her own face and blamed a black woman who said, “Hey, pretty girl, want something to drink?”

And AmeriKlan begins to search frantically for this “evil black fiend”, which had many black women who sport a short-cropped hair-do to hide for fear of death or prison…only to realize that it was a lie to begin with…only to have the media turn around and comfort HER due to the fact that she suffers from a condition called “body dysmorphic disorder”…only to have everyone shrug it off and pretend that racism wasn’t a part of this…I sit back and think, again, about “The Plan.” Ask yourself this: Why was it so easy for everyone to believe that a black woman could do this? Because that’s how black women are portrayed in the world. Ugly. Devious. Envious of whites. And vengeful.

And we wonder why little black girls run to daddy and ask, “Am I ugly? What’s wrong with me?” For the sake of our children’s future and their sanity, please buy them dolls and action figures that look like us…if possible made by us. If we don’t break this chain of sickness, it may last another 400 years.

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67 thoughts on “How Little Black Girls Learn to Hate Themselves

  1. mary burrell on said:

    I have memory of being 10 years old a great aunt commented to me. You know when you were first born you were so cute you were light brown with wavy curly hair, My mother made the same comment. Now look at you all black and nappy headed looking like a african like your daddy. But my daddy proud black man that he was put all theire ignorant asses in check. They fixed their mouths to talk that foolishness again. I had many Barbies. Then one Christmas I got this big doll that looked like a life size girl in a pretty pink frilly dress. She was chocolate with ringlets she was kind of freaky looking.

  2. mary burrell on said:

    *They never fixed their mouths to talk that foolishness again when he got them told.

  3. It’s not just your family Miss Mary. A lot of girls have heard that.

  4. ALCHEMIST on said:


    Was your mother lighter skinned than your father? Why do you think she married someone with features that she did not want for her daughter?

  5. brothawolf on said:

    I think this video sheds some more light on the subject:

  6. Brothawolf:

    Thank you. I’ve seen the doll test and it’s so true! Now do you know why I don’t watch TV? I feel like a broken record but whiteness truly is sick. I love the reasoning why whites are racist.

    I simply cannot get enough of the excuses.

  7. mary burrell on said:

    @Alchemist: No She hated herself her dark skin all her features her sisters were different shades of brown to light skin. She did not marry my father. But my daddy and me were close until he died. He loved me very much and instilled black pride in me. Unfortunaly all the family is this way.

  8. mary burrell on said:

    My Mother always referred to herself as the black one. Her middle sister with the light skin’s my aunt’s late husband always said “Yeah I got the pretty light skinned one with the pretty hair.

  9. This light dark nonsense has got to stop. It’s tearing us apart.

  10. leigh204 on said:

    Omigosh, this brings back memories! I remember the first Barbie doll I had. She didn’t have a name and she was simply called “Kissing Barbie”. She had her own lipstick and you pressed this button on her back and she left kiss imprints. The funny thing is, when I was a child, I honestly thought I was going to grow up to be this tall, peach skinned, blonde haired, blue-eyed beauty. Little did I know in my child mind, that it would be impossible.

    I found a pic online of my old Barbie. Looking back, my doll(s) weren’t pretty at all.

  11. SomeGuy on said:

    This is what my Barbie looked like:

    I guess it explains a lot, huh?

  12. LOL! Hahahahaha!

  13. @ Leigh:

    It’s even harder for non black Coloureds to find dolls that represent them. My Indian friend complains of the same thing.

  14. leigh204 on said:

    Yes! And when there were finally Asian Barbies, they were your stereotypical Asian looks: slanty eyes, straight, black hair with blunt bangs.

  15. Mickey on said:

    Speaking of Disney, I always wondered how long it would take for them to have a Black heroin/princess. I knew that it would happen eventually, but they went to all of the other characters of color: Jasmine (Aladdin) is a Morrocan Arab, Pocahontas is Native American, Esmeralda is a Romany (formally Gypsy, although that is what she and her ilk are referred to as), and Mulan is Chinese. Finally, we have Tiana. What are your thoughts about her?

  16. mary burrell on said:

    They made Tiana a frog and let her stay a frog. If my memory serves me right.

  17. Mickey on said:

    And as for that b**** that harmed her own face and blamed it on a fictional Black woman, obviously she dialed 1-900-Blame-a-N*****.

  18. Mickey on said:

    True, but if she were White, she probably still would have been a frog. My thinking is that she was a frog for most of the movie to have the (White) audience forget that she was Black even for a little while.

  19. leigh204 on said:

    That woman who disfigured her face and blamed it all on the black woman is not even pretty. Just because you’re white, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re goodlooking. Personally, the most beautiful women I’ve come across has always been women of color.

  20. @ Mickey
    Never seen it. Don’t want to.

  21. LOL! I love Paul Mooney! Yes, whites are just spectacular at blaming us for everything, including slavery.

  22. Mickey and Mary:

    Whites like to associate blacks and coloureds as animals/insects/inanimate objects to dehumanize them so their suffering seems less “real.”

    That’s why blacks = monkeys
    Asians = coconut, gooks
    Indians/Paki’s = raghead
    Spaniards = burritos, tacos, wetbacks
    Natives = feather-heads/ red nigger/earth nigger
    That’s why name calling is so pertinent in white supremacy. It removes the human characteristic within a race.

    All apart of the sickness.

  23. @ Leigh

    White women, the epitome of beauty, will always be beautiful in the eyes of racism. Not because she is beautiful but because she REPRESENTS whiteness.

  24. My parents never brought me white dolls. And the paper dolls I got were all painted/colored brown, ’cause my Mama didn’t play that!

  25. leigh204 on said:

    @ DOAN:

    I hear you. She does represent whiteness. She’s still not beautiful/pretty, though.

  26. liftingasweclimb on said:

    Just when I’d hoped this was mostly behind us with Black Women Empowerment, etc., a beautiful, black undergraduate woman came to my office to relate the same dateless and undateable stories that I’d read about in Michelle Wallace’s book, and then lived for myself.

    This problem is much bigger than media influence, and internalized racism. It has profound spiritual, psychological and legacy implications.

  27. I always wonder if the “dateless and undateable stories” some Black women have said they’ve experience have origins in their own minds, ie not deeming of self worthy of a suitable mate. Most of the Black women I know, across ALL SES levels, with varying levels of education, and from petite to overweight, have HUSBANDS not just boyfriends/SO’s.

    And living in Metro DC, I see and am around the same thing, Black women of all educational levels, shapes, sizes, and shades in relationships with Black men.

  28. One last comment. I’ve ALWAYS felt that the myth of the BM not preferring a BW is just that a myth, developed to keep us looking askance at each other and angry. Destroy the BW/BM relationship, destroy the family, destroy our future as a race.

  29. My Good Dr.

    It is a myth! Blacks prefer to marry and mate with other blacks! When you hear and see those silly celebrities spewing froth at the mouth regarding how much they hate black women/men, I know that they are being paid to say it.

    The media, is a farce. Designed to mentally kill black people.

  30. mary burrell on said:

    Now sister truth you and Dr. Reine make sense. There really is a system out there to destroy us in every area of our exisitance. It sure is a strong system. because maybe it’s just me but it appears like the white supremist are winning. I will stay strong.

  31. @ Miss Mary

    It may appear so but have faith in God. We survived the Middle Passage, slavery, lynching, poisoning, Jim Crow, rapes, torture, mis-education, Black Wall Street where they bombed our homes and businesses….and you know what?

    We’re still here.

    That’s no accident.

  32. mary burrell on said:

    True, Sister Truth, I know this is off topic but would you please do a post on the amazing Miss Gabby Douglass. These idiots are on twitter making negative comments about this girl’s hair. This young woman is making history and all some black women not all but the social media is all lit up talking about the way her hair looks. This concerns me about our people.

  33. I’m with you Mary, how some of the ignorant among us are ridiculing this amazing young woman is shameful!!! And a post on her would be great!!

  34. Who’s Gabby Douglass? Sorry, I really don’t follow TV.

  35. Mickey on said:

    She is the only Black gymnast in the Olympics on the U.S. Team and she is winning the Gold all around. I am so happy for her. I knew she could do it.

  36. So I gather that the masses hate her.

  37. nicoleizhername on said:

    Whose Miss Gabby D??? For Shame(just playin’)
    She’s only Da Baddest Broad on da block, doing da damn thang.
    Not only did she carry Her Team, Dats Right HER TEAM to gold in da team finale competing in all 4 events, earning a 1/3 of the total points, she also goes out and wins individual gold for herself. She Remained Strong/Consistent/Beautiful/Professional and STAYED On Top Through Every Rotation. They Were Chasing Her AllNight and Couldn’t Catch Her!!! Dat Says A Lot About Her. Get It Miss Gabby D!!!

  38. mary burrell on said:

    Sister, She is ripping it up and the commentators are being jerks and trying to give the white girls all the shine. She so awesome this is a young sister all young black girls and girls of all colors should aspire to. But sadly some of our people are focused on the wrong thing. They are making negative comments about her hair. Her hair! Can you believe that? This girl is making history. She is winning the gold. Working and doing twice as much as the whites girls and NBC is being biased in the commentary about her. NBC showed a racist commercial after her gold medal win by showing a monkey on the rings. They said it was unintentional. I don’t believe that. This is Ameriklan for sure. Goggle her Sister Truth. This is a phenomenal young woman all of us can be proud of. Marcus Garvey was right”We are a race cursed with petty differences.

  39. mary burrell on said:

    Sister Truth about Little Black girls and their self image I don’t trust the Diosney people but they are trying to do a little better with Doc Mcstuffins. It’s animated. It’s actually kind of cute. It’s for the pre schoolers. She is a Doctor and fixing her stuffed animals. @Mickey I know you got the video. help us out. @Dr.Reine Tell us what you think of the Disney character Doc Mcstuffins. I don’t have children but I try and encourage my best friend’s daughter who is an aspring ballerina. Even though she does’nt have a lithe body that the other white girls have in the class I try to encourae her and the other little black girl in the class where they go to get going. I want them to have their dreams. There are black ballerinas. I don’t like some of the teachers at that school they seem condescending. My friend says I’m just not seeing things right. but I get a weird vibe from some of those parents.

  40. mary burrell on said:


  41. nicoleizhername on said:

    I didn’t read them. I refuse. I’m well aware of da ignorance. Some Black Folk got a sickness they don’t want to get well from. Dat Ain’t Gabby’s Problem, it’s theirs. I will tell U what almost made me go through my tv screen was those gymnastics commentators and that “long tooth” bitch andra joyce. She had da damn nerve to ask as one of da first questions to Miss Gabby “Do U Think Dat Was A Gold Medal Floor Performance” Not Congratulations, U Did It/Amazing/Incredible/Beautiful all of which describe her, She went and bitched out on national tv. And this ain’t da first time “Long Tooth” has done this to Miss Gabby. Hatred, Jealousy, Envy, Fear I think I need to revisit Bobby Wright.

  42. Mickey on said:

    A few clips regarding Doc Mcstuffins:

  43. mary burrell on said:

    Misty Cpoeland beautiful black ballerina. The young sister in the movie “On Pointe. She is amazing as well. She wants to dance the lead in Swan Lake. She has many challenges. She has vitalligo. But she is hella talented. She was adopted by a white couple. They found her in an African orphanage. She was made an outcast because of her skin disease. She is such a talented dancer. Ballet is an elitist art form as you well know. But she was featured on So You Think You Can Dance. She was beautiful and graceful. But white people are making such awful comments about her appearance. She wants to dance the lead of the Swan Queen. I hope she gets her dream.

  44. mary burrell on said:

    The movie is first position Michael DePrince is the young dancer in that wants to dance the Swan Queen. Misty Copeland . Beautiful Black ballerina and women of color on their toes.

  45. nicoleizhername on said:

    I saw that Commercial too. Dayum I Swear to Everything that is Holy How Pathetic Can They B? And They Knew Exactly What They Were Doing . Just a Group Of Pathetic Ass Beings. But Like I said on utube, U Can’t Steal Miss Gabby’s Joy OR Her Shine. On a Higher Note, How Beautiful Is Her Family…Mama Luv Her Baby!!!

  46. mary burrell on said:

    @MIckey : YOU ROCK!!!!!!

  47. mary burrell on said:

    @Nicole & Sister Help us help our people. We need help to help ourselves.

  48. mary burrell on said:

    Want to clarify the movie is First Position. I think it’s worth considering Sister Truth.

  49. leigh204 on said:

    @ mary burrell:

    Yes, I agree. That’s an excellent suggestion! I’ve been hearing so much about this talented young gymnast. I want to know more about her. It’s downright horrible certain people are picking on her hair. There’s nothing wrong with her hair. Anyway, a post on Gabby Douglas would be absolutely wonderful!

  50. @ Everyone:

    Ok…a gabby post coming soon….

  51. just remember, as far as Karen Brodkin is researched/concerned, Barbie is modelled after a pale Jewish princess.

  52. ynotme on said:

    Instead of all the negative comments about her hair and color, they should look at her as an inspiration to all Americans, because while they are criticizing and ridiculing this amazingly talented young women, she is now an addition to the rich athletic legacy of African American, and judging from her interview with former gymnast Dominique Dawes, I can definitely tell that this young women is very humble and grounded, which probably came from her strong belief in God and having a Mom who is very supportive.

  53. ynotme on said:

    That woman who disfigured her face and blamed it all on the black woman is not even pretty. Just because you’re white, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re goodlooking.

    This women was probably unhappy with her looks coupled with a hatred for black people and saw this as an opportunity to obtain free reconstructive surgery which can be very expensive.

  54. In order to counter the plan to have Black girls and women hate ourselves, I propose the following code or plan of behavior:

    1) Don’t buy your little girls dolls.
    The reason for this piece of code is:
    1a) We do not need to give any of our hard earned income to doll and toy
    manufacturers. That money is better spent doing something
    constructive for our children, including saving for college, starting a
    business that we can pass to our children, and paying off the mortgage
    so that our children will have a place to live when we die.
    1b) Buying a doll helps to reinforce the idea that we have to look outside of
    outside of ourselves for validation. We do not have to do this. We only
    need to look in the mirror for validation.

    2) Explain to your daughter that white people are not interested in helping to promote a positive black image.
    2a) It doesn’t matter if a company produces a doll with dark skin and helix
    hair. If the company is owned and operated by racists, they will never
    fully endorse black beauty and positive self-image. Therefore, we should
    not expect them to do anything to help solve the problem. The biggest
    reasons why they even bother to produce a black doll in any variation is
    to help their image and to make money.
    2b) We should not look to white people to tell us who we are and why we
    should love ourselves. Although the black doll may be a compensatory
    effort on their part, it does not, in my view, help us to get in touch with
    our power. Again, if we need to see a positive image of ourselves, we
    need to look in the mirror, and not to a white-owned toy company’s
    rendering of our image.
    3) Give your little girl something constructive yet fun to do.
    3a) Instead of fighting with the doll companies over their products, bypass it
    altogether and give your daughter something constructive and fun, such
    as a gardening project, or a math game. I wish we had the luxury of
    allowing our children to remain innocent and fun-loving during their
    childhood, but we Black people are in a state of emergency. We don’t have
    time and money to waste on dolls, toys or anything. Get your daughter
    into something constructive when she is young, so that she will not be
    confused about racism.
    3b) As women, we really don’t need to reinforce any stereotype of beauty and
    objectification. I’m equally concerned about little girls growing up to think
    that as women, we’re just pieces of walking plastic that can be
    manipulated and changed at the will of more powerful people. Having a
    doll probably won’t help your daughter counter racism, even if the doll
    does happen to look like her. It might be better to at least give her blocks
    or Legos, so that even while she’s playing and entertaining herself,
    she’ll be able to subconsciously develop logic and critical thinking.

    Overall, I’m trying to say don’t expose your daughter to dolls in the first place. Little Black girls don’t need dolls. They need white supremacy to be replaced with justice.

  55. @ Spirit

    Excellent comments.

  56. I played with Black dolls and I became a Scientist. My daughter played with dolls and she’s a future Engineer, just like her father.

    Toys, dolls in particular, don’t make or break our children, parenting does.

  57. Tyrone on said:

    Mary Burrell

    White people can’t make or break blackwomen. They do more harm to themselves than they realize. Blackwomen are not the problem. Whitemen have marginalized the timeless beauty of blackwomen to make whitewomen comfortable in their own misery. Again, if whitewomen were so much better than african women, why are so many fair-skinned females trying to look like them? Sistas, ignore what you see and hear in media? All of this bs is a game…soothe the fragile egos of whitewomen and brainwash black males to hate their reflection. This scenario goes down, in comes whitemen on a white stallion to the rescue of blackwomen. Again, if it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t apply to us. If anything, whitewomen are trying to steal the beauty of blackwomen…how many real whitewomen do you see in media sistas? How many stringy-haired, light-eyed, thin nosed, thin lipped white females do you see in hollywood, tv-shows, commercials, modeling, journalism, etc. It’s gotten so bad, that, white females are forced to dye their hair blonde to look more european because they look so black in the other way. Whenever you watch CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, you’ll see what i’m talking about. I mention all of this, because, i don’t argue about false premises…black females are inferior to other women, Hell No! Understand the Why of something sistas, what’s the motivation behind the hatred and envy?


  58. @Dr. Reine
    I agree, and I apologize if I came off as condescending.

    To compensate for that, I found the following Black-owned toy companies that make dolls from an article on madamenoir.com:


    I feel that instead of demanding that white-owned treat us right, we should, whenever possible, redirect our attention and money to Black-owned companies that are already producing products that we want, and who need the money more than the major white-owned companies.

  59. Thanks for the apology, but it’s not really necessary among friends!! I understood the point you were trying to make.

    I should also mention that we spent more time in the “boy” toys isle than the one for girl’s, because the toys that required thinking and intellect were found there. I personally feel this is deliberate, so parents have to take it upon themselves to expose their kids to toys which challenge them.

  60. ethidolls has good black dolls, i agree 100% with this post, i kinda wrote about my experience with this on my own blog

  61. Kushite Prince on said:

    Great video!

  62. Cinnamondiva on said:

    I agree with this…racism makes it seem like ALL white women are beautiful just because of their whiteness.

    Personally, I’ve experienced some white women trying to belittle me for certain “ethnic” features like my curly hair and big butt. I am of mixed race and it was clear that they were trying to make me feel bad about myself.

    And although I’m very light-skinned, I wanted blonde hair and blue eyes as a little girl. Very few people told me I was pretty.

    I also know many Black men, unfortunately, who will run after the most filthy, unattractive white woman or Latina because of their perceived “beauty”. I know some women who believe that they are better/prettier than women of color simply because they’re white.

  63. Cinnamondiva on said:

    I agree, Leigh. I’ve seen some very pretty white women but she isn’t one of them.

    My latest girl crush is Carmen Ejogo, the British/Nigerian actress…a bit on the skinny side, but she has the looks of an angel.

  64. @ Cinnamondiva

    Those black men who chase white women just because of their whiteness are totally lost in this system of white supremacy.

    You have to feel sorry for them.

  65. Yup I have had family members make the same comments about me too.

  66. So sad.

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