In a powerful new vlog post, Barbie and her friend Nikki unpack racism in a way that children of all ages can understand.
"There is a huge movement going on," Barbie explains, sitting next to Nikki. "Millions of people across the world are standing up to fight against racism, and they're doing this because too often and for such a long time, people have been treated unfairly, and in some cases even hurt by others, because of the color of their skin."
Barbie and Nikki Discuss Racism | Barbie Vlogs | @Barbie www.youtube.com
Then, Barbie hands the reins over to Nikki, who discusses her experience as a Black girl growing up in America.
"I, and so many other Black people, have to deal with racism," Nikki says. "All the time. It's really hurtful, and it can be scary and sad."
Nikki's experiences may feel familiar to anyone who has been treated unfairly because of their skin color.
"Barbie and I had a sticker-selling contest on the beach last month. We split up and went our separate directions to see who could sell the most. While I was on the boardwalk, beach security stopped me three times. The security officer thought I was doing something bad, even though I was doing exactly the same thing that you were doing."
Nikki also shares a story about how a teacher once called her perfect test score "lucky," because he didn't think she could have scored so highly.
"Why didn't you just stay in the club and prove him wrong?" asks Barbie.
"Because I don't want to constantly prove and reprove myself. He supported you right from the beginning and he didn't support me," Nikki answers. "People did these things because I was Black, and they made the wrong assumptions about me."
Barbie and Nikki end their conversation by asking everyone to speak out against racism.
"When we don't say anything, we're just letting it continue."
Barbie and parent company Mattel got a lot of things right with this powerful video. They used language that kids will easily understand. They chose real-life examples that children often experience.
While it was Barbie's vlog and she introduced the topic, she allowed Nikki to recount her experiences without interruption. Barbie didn't interject or question Nikki – she was simply sorry for what her friend endured. Barbie used her platform to elevate Nikki's voice and story. She empowered her friend and supported her. Barbie modeled the behavior of an ally.
Mattel is also supplying families with free resources on how to discuss race and raise antiracist children. The new document, which they released with Barbie's latest vlog, says in part, "Whether it's the first time you've spoken to your child about racism or it's an ongoing conversation in your home, this is the first in a series of content with information and tips you can adapt to meet the needs of your family."
We know conversations about racism can be difficult. But they're so important to raising children who will become empathetic, kind adults. If you're looking for more resources on how to start these conversations, we have some ways you can get started.
Or you can turn to Barbie. We definitely support how she's using her platform to help others.