Christina Montoya Fiedler: When I was a little girl, my mother made sure that I always had positive roles models in my life, right down to the dolls that I played with in my dollhouse. Whenever possible, she made sure that I had dolls that looked like me - and by that I mean ones that had brown hair, brown eyes, and dark skin (well, I'm pretty fair, but you get the point. The dolls looked Hispanic).
This year Barbie turns 50 and I'd like to give thanks in particular to Hispanic Barbie. Her beautiful long, brown hair, her big brown eyes and rich coffee skin. ¡Que bonita! The first Hispanic Barbie hit the shelves in 1980, the same year the world saw the first African American Barbie. The year after that, an Asian Barbie. A whole new world of play was born for children around the world, who could now see themselves in their most coveted possessions - a Barbie doll.
So much of what we learn as children, whether it is from our parents, friends, or the media, contributes to the confidence and self-worth that we possess as adults -- especially our idea of beauty. So, maybe I don't look like a supermodel, drive an expensive car, or live in a dream house, but I'm still me, and I'm still special. I learned that from my Mama. And, being a Mama myself now, I want to teach that to my children.
I want them to know that they are beautiful inside and out, and what the media says is "beautiful" is not necessarily the epitome of what is right or good. To be accepting of others, all colors, makes and models, is a lesson that is never too early to teach. Besides my Hispanic Barbie, I had many other dolls -- a regular Olympic team of muñecas from various nations. I had dolls that were Native American, African American, blonde-haired blue-eyed, and Indian. It taught me acceptance on a small scale that was later played out on a larger scale on the playground.
Amazing to think that something as small as a doll can set the tone in a woman's life, or make such a big impression, but then again, I've never been one to doubt the power of a Barbie.
|Christina Montoya Fiedler resides in Los Angeles, CA, with husband Andy and her son Joseph. She juggles baby and work from home as a freelance publicist and attributes her strong love for life and sense of humor to her loving familia.|