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How African-Americans, Hispanics, and other ethnic groups are portrayed in the media is a constant issue the media faces. The diversity in the media, or lack thereof is something the industry without a doubt needs to improve. This is evident in the new commercial released by Barbie.

The new commercial entitled “I Can Be” encourages young girls that they can be anything they aspire to be. Although I feel that the concept of the commercial is great, I think the commercial could have been better thought out. I feel as though the people behind the commercial could have made it more diverse seeing that their consumers are girls of all ethnic groups.

When I first watched the commercial the only thing I thought about was the positive message Barbie was sending to young girls, but when I went back to watch it again I started to look at the details of the commercial. I noticed that out of the whole :30 second commercial only 2 African-Americans were shown. One being a little girl in ballet and the other a young girl seen as singer. Not only does the question of why are only 2 African-Americans shown throughout the whole commercial rise in my mind, but also why are they not shown in prominent roles? In the commercial there were pilots, firefighters, vets, and none were African-American or from any other minority ethnic group.

I think its important to show African-American girls that they can be anything they aspire to be, but its also important to show them people who look like them that they can relate to in some of those roles that Barbie showed in their commercial. I think Barbie would have made a better impact by increasing the diversity in the commercial.

Kristen BrownKristen Brown is a graduating senior at Shaw University. A native from Mount Olive, North Carolina, Kristen is a Mass Communications major with a concentration in journalism. She is currently co-editor of The Bear Facts, an online student newspaper at Shaw, she is also the secretary for the Theta Chi chapter of the National Broadcast Society on campus. Kristen is also a member of the Beta Rho chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. After graduation Kristen plans to pursue a career as a public relations specialist.

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