Jacqueline Shepherd, 42, was only able to find a black doll for £77.53, plus £4.16 delivery, a total of £81.69. However, the average price of a white Barbie doll with blonde hair on Amazon is around £18.
My London reports Jacqueline was disgusted with the “outrageous inequality”.
“It’s so important for children to have toys and books that represent them because it can really impact on how they feel about themselves and how they move through society,” the aunty said.
“If at an impressionable age, you can’t see yourself in any of your toys, or TV shows, you may start to feel ‘othered’ and less important which in turn can affect self esteem.
“It broke my heart when my niece asked why none of the Barbies had hair like hers.
“The inequality is outrageous. The Barbie in a wheelchair is another example, the white blonde one £17, the black curly haired doll, £37.”
Jacqueline, who is a TV presenter and journalist, finally found a doll that was exactly what she was looking for at £11.50 from independent retailer Premiere Products.
But she says she and her sister, the girl’s mother, have had to work to get her kids to embrace their natural hair and curls “in a society that over the years has rejected afro and curly textured hair.”
Instead they are encouraged to “tame” and “straighten” it, she said.
The doll Jacqueline did find on Amazon that most closely matched her niece’s skin tone and hair type has been discontinued.
Jacqueline added: “Retailers need to ensure that not only do they make a variety of dolls available, but they also don’t hike up the price for black dolls, that is just so outrageous.
“It feels like some sort of tax on being black and wanting a doll that represents your background. It feels so unethical.
“She [her niece] would say to Barbie: I love my curls and I love Barbies that have curly hair and skin like mine too.”
Amazon said in a statement: “On attributable background, this product was being sold via a third party seller.
“Sellers set their own product prices in our store and we have policies to help ensure sellers are pricing their products competitively.
“We actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policies. In this particular case, we are taking action to address the issue with the product in question.”
My London approached the makers of Barbie for comment.