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Barbie and Nikki's video on racism is the perfect way to start the conversation with your kids

Barbie and Nikki's video on racism is the perfect way to start the conversation with your kids

Although the three-minute-long video is far from a masterclass in racism for young kids—that's far too short a time to tackle such a heavy, centuries-deep topic—it is good a starting point.

The Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 forced the world to finally acknowledge the inherent racism embedded in modern society like never before. While in the past, brands have escaped accountability by some meaningless show of support, they've now realized that they'll have to do more than the bare minimum to be part of a truly anti-racist future. Among the brands finally taking genuine steps towards such a future is the iconic Barbie with an informative video on racism for their young customers. The three-minute webisode features Barbie and her friend Nikki discussing racism and the subtle and not so subtle ways it exists in society.



 

 

Released by Mattel and Barbie earlier this month, the episode, titled Barbie and Nikki Discuss Racism, includes a frank discussion about how Nikki, who is Black, experiences racism in her day to day life. "As the most-watched series and #1 girls channel on YouTube, Barbie is using her platform to raise awareness around racism and encourage girls to stand up if they see a person treated unfairly. The format of the episode consists of Barbie’s friend Nikki talking about the racism she has personally felt and share some stories that may resonate with other girls," Mattel said in a statement to The Glow Up.



 

 

"The goal of the episode is to help girls to understand that there is a huge movement going on in the fight against racism, why people are marching together, and the importance of reading and learning more about Black history. Barbie is championing gender equality to help close the racial injustice barrier girls face through the Dream Gap and this is one way the brand is addressing it," the statement added. "We hope that families watch this together and leverage the brand to discuss a really tough topic with a young child and hope it spurs many more conversations on how girls can support one another."



 

 

"People might think that my life looks fine," Nikki tells her friend in the special episode. "But the truth is, I and so many other Black people have to deal with racism all the time. It’s really hurtful, and it can be scary and sad." She then shares some very relatable instances of racism that will undoubtedly resonate with young Black kids who've had to face such situations in real life. Her anecdotes might even come as an eye-opener to young White kids who, to be very frank, have probably never had a reason to discuss or even think about racism.



 

 

"I don’t want to have to constantly prove and re-prove myself," Nikki says of the everyday instances of racism she faces at school, at the beach, at the shopping mall, and whatnot. "Usually when I talk about these things, people make excuses...But those are just excuses. People did these things to me because I was Black and they made the wrong assumptions about me." Although the three-minute-long video is far from a masterclass in racism for young kids—that's far too short a time to tackle such a heavy, centuries-deep topic—we must admit that this is a good place to start.



 

 

Barbie responds with the requisite righteous indignation of a true ally as her friend opens up about her experiences with racism. It is also important to note that she gives Nikki the floor to talk about the issues rather than taking center stage and lecturing the audience about something she's never experienced personally. As far as anti-racism efforts go, this video is a perfect conversation starter for parents who need to have the racism talk with their children.



 

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