New black Barbie doll launched after ‘Michelle Obama effect’

Doll is the first black Barbie to hit UK stores in 30 years


A black version of Barbie will go on sale in the UK for the first time in almost 30 years, in a move that beauty experts have put down to the Michelle Obama effect.


A new range of black and mixed-race Barbies with “fuller lips, a wider nose and more pronounced cheek bones” have been created by manufacturer Mattel to make sure Barbie remains “culturally relevant”.


The designs are very different from Barbie’s first black friend, Francie, who appeared in 1967, and was more like a darker coloured version of white Barbie. Irene Shelley, editor of Black Beauty and Hair magazine, said, “This is obviously part of the ‘Michelle Obama effect’. There’s been a lot of interest in her and her daughters, and that will make retailers rethink what they can sell.”

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