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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Global encounters: 'Barbie' in Nigerian Agbogho-mmuo mask context
Author:Okafor, Chinyere G.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Geographic term:Nigeria
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13696810701485918
Abstract:This article discusses the American Barbie doll image as a representation of globalized beauty that impinges on Nigerian standards of beauty exemplified here by the Agbogho-mmuo mask of the Igbo ethnic group. Although Barbie is a corporate product whereas the Igbo mask is sacred, the difference is minimized by their mutual focus on representations of idealized beauty. The article deals with the encounter between two ideas of beauty represented by Barbie on the one hand and Agbogho-mmuo on the other. As part of the global image-making network, the Barbie image influences the dynamics of the perception of beauty in Nigeria and this adversely affects the health of women and contributes to the decline of indigenous Nigerian cosmetic usage, production and practices. The discussion of the variety of images represented by the range of Barbie doll imagery and the female mask aims to contribute to an understanding of the problems of Barbie's body dimensions and skin and hair colour for Nigerians with different skin colour and body expectations. The author argues that the odds seem to be against the Nigerian 'ideal' because of the country's weakened economic base as it encounters the globally empowered Barbie doll; she therefore argues for a strengthening of a Nigerian cultural base. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]