DOTW Native American Midge/ Diva

17 Aug

DOTW Native American Barbie


I initially bought this doll because she is very close to my idea of a perfect Midge/ Diva. When I was collecting the first time round, I had very firm ideas about Midge. As well as my issue with her freckles, which I discussed last week, I also felt strongly that this face looks best when painted without heavy makeup. Since becoming familiar with the “Diva” series and getting Speed Racer Trixie (who I blogged about in July) I’ve modified my opinion a little bit, but in the 90s dolls like this made me cringe:

Early nineties mermaid Midge

(sorry for the rubbish picture, it was the only one I could find and she’s currently packed up so I can’t re-photograph her at the mo). I just don’t think the hot pink lipstick and yellow eyeshadow does anything to enhance her ethereal features, but this was the way nearly all Barbies were at this time. My new Midge, with her natural, understated look, struck me as a rare doll – obviously older, but brunette with darker skin, and not suffering from 80s makeup syndrome.

I got her with no real hope of ever identifying her, as she came without clothes (I find the older the doll, the harder – usually – to identify, partly because I don’t know as much about earlier dolls). However, as I sorted out her tangled hair, I found her hairband still attached underneath it. Something about it made me think of DOTW, and given her long dark hair I thought Native American was a good place to start (I also thought with her little headband and her otherworldly gaze, she would have been the perfect hippie Barbie, but I suspected Mattel would never have made anything like that). I eventually found a picture of her – she’s a fourth edition Native American DOTW and was released in 1997.

It strikes me as a bit sad that at this time there was no other place in Barbieworld for natural-looking Brunettes – that she couldn’t just be a Barbie looking like this, but instead had to be a doll that was “about” race. I’ve been reading Erica Rand’s “Barbie’s Queer Accessories” recently and she points out that Barbie has often been marketed as having no ethnicity herself, whereas dolls/ characters around her are often defined by their ethnicity. Rand sees this as inherent racism. I’ve thought about this and I’ve started to wonder, actually, is there an American DOTW? Not Native American, but American – America is part of the world, isn’t it? I’ve looked but I can’t find one.

Anyhoo, my Native American DOTW has been lots of fun – a bit of restoration, a bit of doll detective work, and a really nice doll at the end of it.

DOTW Native American Midge/ DivaDOTW Native American 4th Edition 1997

PS. In these pics, she’s wearing artsy fashion pack boots, vintage jacket and jeans, and a Ken teeshirt.





5 Responses to “DOTW Native American Midge/ Diva”

  1. Bree Bishop Bove August 18, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    I’ve love the Diva sculpt since its inception (Rockers Diva was my first Barbie purchase with my own money. You wanna talk crazy makeup, poor Diva had it going on from the beginning with the blue or pink eyeshadow.

    I was ecstatic to see the sculpt’s resurrection with Basics No 9. I had no idea that Mattel used it in the 90s for the DOTW series, but I really love seeing the variety. Chinese Empress is also a stunner.

    I just wish they’d do more with it. No 9 is the one of the few that hasn’t re-appeared in later collections, and I still see her at my TRU, so she must not sell as well. 😦 If I don’t see another No 9 BB soon, I’m going to have to start commissioning repaints/reroots.

  2. barbielea August 18, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    I too was surprised that they haven’t had more Divas in the Basics range as she must be one of the more popular and collectible faces. Having said that, I liked 9 from collection 1 but I thought they could have done better. Take heart though – surely there must be a Diva in collection 3? Maria has kindly posted a link to a photo of this collection in the comments section of my post earlier this week on Basics 2.5 model 14, but I don’t think it’s the whole collection and it’s a bit far away to easily identify the sculpts. It was originally sourced from Doll Cafe on Flickr, I plan to have a look and see if they have any more pics when I get time.

    PS yes, I’ve seen the Rockers Midge! Exactly what I mean by 80s makeup syndrome, ha ha. Thanks for posting 🙂

  3. Bree August 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    I’ve seen the Collection 3 photos – only 6 dolls, and no Diva.

    Further research today says that Collection 3 is the last, and anyone who got cut from Collection 2 is done anyway. 😦 My Basics are destined to be 50s/60s, so I was hoping for a longer haired Diva.

    I ordered 2.5’s No 14 and the Elvis Pivotal last week and they should be here Saturday. I hope one of them matches No 9, as none of the Fashionistas are light enough and the Jazz/Pop Pivotals are a little pricey.

  4. barbielea August 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    That’s it – just six? And no dolls not featured in collection 2? Very disappointing indeed. Good luck with your rebody and thanks for the info.


  1. Miss Kira’s Feeling for Snow « barbiebeauties - January 19, 2013

    […] but now and again I find a great one. This Kira-faced Arctic Barbie from 1996 reminds me of my DOTW Native American Midge. She has the same understated, racially ambiguous kind of face paint, which is never usually seen […]

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