Mattel recently released a Game Developer Barbie in efforts to break gender stereotypes in the STEM industry; but one thing the toy company failed to do was feature the doll in different ethnicities. The only available option was a White doll with red hair. After noticing this while picking up a doll for his wife who is a Black game developer, Marcus Montgomery was prompted to come up with a solution of his own.
Montgomery, who is a game developer himself, purchased an African-American doll, donned it in Game Developer Barbie’s clothes, and gifted it to his wife for her birthday. He then took to Facebook to post a photo of the doll, along with the caption, “As many of you know, my wife is a hard-working game developer. And when she heard there was a Game Developer Barbie out she went to buy one. They only came in one skin tone. So she didn’t buy one. I fixed the problem #wearegamedevs #husbandpoints #diversityingames.”
His post garnered several likes, shares, and comments that praised his creativity.
His wife, Lisette Titre-Montgomery, was pleased by the gift. “I love my husband because he’s thoughtful and generous,” she told ABC. “The thought of him struggling to put those tiny clothes on that little Barbie with those big hands cracks me up. It makes me love the gift even more.”
Lisette has dedicated her career to promoting diversity in the tech industry. She is the founder of We Are Game Devs, a website that puts the focus on underrepresented groups in the video game industry.
“My ultimate goal was to make my wife smile,” said Marcus. “She works hard, and like all of us, she feels unrecognized at times. A developer Barbie acknowledged her career of choice. It’s exciting. It’s cool, but both my wife and I realize the importance of representation, and it’s something we experience every day.”
Although Mattel might have fallen short in regards to racial representation, Marcus believes the company’s intention to inspire young girls to pursue careers in the tech industry is a positive thing.
“To Mattel’s credit, they’re doing exceptional work in the fact that Game Developer Barbie was considered career of the year. It’s amazing to me. The campaign is an inspiration to young girls,” he added.
SOURCE: ABC | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter, Getty