Nicki Minaj has finally made her dream come true by being made into a real-life Barbie. A one-of-a-kind Barbie doll crafted after the likeness of the bubbly star will be auctioned for charity online in conjunction with the coming five-day Divine Design fashion event.
The doll, which is 11 1/2 inches high and sports the pink wig and wild fashions that Minaj made famous, was created in partnership with Mattel for display at the Beverly Hills style extravaganza to be held from December 7 through 12. As a woman who self-identifies as a real-life Barbie, this is something of a milestone for Nicki Minaj.
Luckily, the realization of Nicki’s fantasies will also benefit the lives of others. CharityBuzz.com will host the auction of the Nicki Minaj Barbie starting on Wednesday — and all proceeds will benefit Project Angel Food, which provides food for people affected by HIV/AIDS. Bids for the petite version of the pink-obsessed pop star will start at $1,000, and will be accepted through December 19. The Nicki Minaj Barbie will be the latest in a long line of previous celebrity Barbies made for the auction in the likenesses of Janet Jackson and Rachel Zoe among others.
Of the partnership, Barbie spokeswoman Stefani Yocky said:
Barbie is obviously a pop culture icon. She’s been in the spotlight for over 50 years, and strikes that chord with girls of all ages in terms of being representative of the times. And Nicki is a big part of pop culture and also huge within the fashion industry, as well as a big Barbie fan … It’s really exciting for us that she’s been so generous to allow us to create this one-of-a-kind doll to support such an important cause.
Very generous indeed. Yocky has declined to comment regarding whether a Nicki Minaj Barbie will soon be available for purchase by the general public, but this would be a lucrative move for both the award-winning rapper and the Barbie brand.
It’s great that Nicki Minaj is using her extreme cultural impact for the benefit of others by lending her image to a Barbie doll that will be auctioned for a worthy cause. But her objectification brings to mind other issues for which the star is too seldom held to task.
Her association with the Barbie image is one that she has not only made metaphorically; she has also literally changed herself into a plastic version of the impossible female ideal that Barbie represents. Minaj has allegedly had breast and butt implants to better resemble the impossibly curvaceous beauty icon.
Barbie, far from just being fun, is an image that often haunts girls as they grow into women because very few meet her standards of perfection. This definitely seems to be true for Minaj.
The blonde hair and blue eyes of the doll are also potential daggers to the self-esteem of black girls whose natural skin and hair are the racial opposite. For Nicki to adopt Barbie as her main style inspiration plays into the sumpremicist notion that white features are more beautiful. And unfortunately, this underlying belief seems to have been played out in the rendition of the Nicki Minaj Barbie doll by lightening the doll’s skin. The Nicki Minaj Barbie doll lacks the full brown color of the real Minaj, which is a rejection of the star’s African-American heritage.
While this is nothing new for Barbies in general, it would be shocking to learn that Nicki intentionally took this opportunity to take this doll a step even closer to the “real” Barbie ideal by making it lighter than her real self. A comparison of the doll with pictures of Nicki reveals that this might be so. Or perhaps, similar to the way in which L’Oreal once lightened images of Beyonce for an ad campaign, this move by Mattel was made without the star’s consent. Either way, the disfigurement of Nicki Minaj’s natural appearance to fit a Eurpean beauty ideal has occurred. Why it occurred and was allowed to happen almost doesn’t matter. It is statement enough that the makers and model of this doll (Minaj) believed that lightening of the doll’s skin was acceptable.
As a superstar with the minds of millions of little girls under her influence, this is an irresponsible move for Minaj to make. Let’s hope the Nicki Minaj Barbie with it’s lighter skin does not make it to market to further distort young black women’s concept of what is beautiful. Nicki Minaj might feel the need to deform her body for fortune and fame, but she should not inspire impressionable girls to engage in similar acts of self-rejection.