You can’t tell me that toy shopping doesn’t reflect changing politics in America. Just a few months back researchers showed that Halloween mask purchases of presidential candidates predicted the winner of every presidential election for the last 20 years. The shopping craziness of parents hunting for cabbage patch kids was a perfect allegory for the ego driven excess of Baby Boom yuppies in the 1980’s. The explosion of Beanie Babies in the 1990’s and the amazing sociology and marketing behind them coincided with the rise of specialty stores like Home Depot, Borders, the Disney and Warner Brother’s. So the news that Disney’s Doc McStuffins is beating Dora the Explorer in toys sales this Christmas can’t be overlooked as just another neat trend.
First, Dora’s popularity coincided with the rise of political and cultural significance of America’s Latino population. No longer confined to being side-kicks and gardeners and “hot second wives” Dora was supposed to indicate that Latinos were finally being accepted into mainstream American television and that a little Hispanic girl could be just as much of role model as a white one. Yet in the last year we’ve seen the explosion of Black women in the mainstream again, taking on public and pop culture roles not seen since the 70’s. Michelle Obama’s all time popularity, the annoying yet popular rise of “Scandal” with Kerry Washington, and two new hour long dramas starring Megan Goode and Thandie Newton. It appears that Black Women are back on top in the pop culture world, and as role models for boys and girls. I welcome this new change, there can never be enough role models out there, besides, anything that gets us as far away from the Kevin clash scandal as possible is a good thing.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.