Zendaya’s Barbie Doll Elicits Controversial Reactions from Nicki Minaj + Demi Lovato
Zendaya has her own Barbie doll edition now and, like most people who've had a doll created in their image, she's excited. It's surreal and cool to look at a tiny version of yourself, but she's also psyched to play a part in broadening the Barbie-mandated ideals of beauty. "When I was little I couldn't find a Barbie that looked like me, my...how times have changed," she wrote an Instagram post yesterday (September 27). "Thank you @Barbie for this honor and for allowing me to be apart [sic] of your diversification and expansion of the definition of beauty. Can't wait to keep doing amazing things with you."
The actress-singer-model joins the ranks of other Barbie-fied celebrities including Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Rosie O'Donnell. You know who also had a Barbie made in their honor? The Harajuki Barbie herself, Nicki Minaj— and while she's happy for Zendaya, she would also like you and Zendaya to always remember that she had a Barbie before Zendaya.
Nicki's post drew some criticism on Twitter from people who felt a simple "nice job!" would've seemed more sincere. But the rapper reiterated her "I support Zendaya, but also champion myself at the same time" stance in a second Instagram photo, a split of the two dolls with the caption, "@zendaya [heart eyes/YAS emoji] they should have matching bff Barbie cars with the dreamhouse to match. Love this."
But Nicki wasn't the only one with a...multi-layered reaction to Zendaya's new doll. In a tweet that's since been deleted, Demi Lovato floated the idea of a Barbie with Demi's body (and, likely, her face and name), while pointing out the fact that Zendaya's model-thin frame actually falls squarely in the traditional, Barbie-endorsed body standard.
Zendaya supporters, and those who felt this simply wasn't the time to split hairs over how this particular representation of young women of color may exclude yet another portion of the population, also harnessed the #raiseyourvoice hashtag to voice their dissent. A few haters also took the opportunity to launch "you're fat" potshots at Demi, which kiiiind of supports Demi's (again, now-deleted) call to fight body-shaming with a wider array of body types on dolls used by impressionable children.
Do you think Demi has a point? Do you think Nicki and Demi should have simply let Zendaya have her day? And do you agree with my kindergarten teacher, who used to say there are more than enough Barbie dolls, and everyone will get their turn eventually?
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