Sasha and Malia dolls are hot! Maybe not?

by singlemomseeking on January 29, 2009

I’ve been obsessing about race lately.

It started with Obama’s election.

Then my kid asked me — for the first time ever — if she could contact her father, whom she hasn’t spoken to or seen for seven years.

Then, last night, I went to a lecture by Elliot Lewisauthor of Fade: My Journeys in Multiracial Americaon “Multiracial Experiences.”

Interestingly, during the talk, I missed a call from a fellow blogger — Kevin of 5ks and Cabernets — with whom I’ve been emailing about raising biracial children.

My brain is buzzing.

I’ll never forget when I gave M her first baby doll.

I’d gone out searching for a little baby doll who looked like M, and let me tell you: it wasn’t easy.

Years later, when M begged me for an American Girl, I caved in. I hoped that she’d pick out a doll who looked like her. But there was only American Girl with brown skin at the time, much darker than hers, and no biracial American Girls.

In the end, she chose an American Girl who resembled me. (And then my sister’s dog ate the doll.)


So, when I first heard that Ty — the maker of Beanie Babies — had come out with dolls named “Marvelous Malia” and “Sweet Sasha” — I was psyched.

Yes! At last, there would be more dolls on the shelves who resembled my girl. I’d assumed that President Obama and his family had given Ty permission to manufacture the dolls. But no.

In fact, Ty is denying that the dolls are replicas of the first couple’s daughters — and Michelle Obama is not pleased.

She issued a press releasing saying that it is not proper for this company to produce dolls called Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia.

“We feel it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes,” Obama‘s press secretary, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, said.

The thrill is gone: Ty is clearly being insensitive. (C’mon now, be honest about your marketing strategy, will you?)

Do you think that Ty should cease manufacturing of the dolls?

Would you buy Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia dolls?

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