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Packaging Sasha and Malia Obama
Is it really so wrong to sell 'Sweet Sasha' and 'Marvelous Malia' dolls?

"Oh, the hand-wringing about the Obama girls' growing fame!" said Kirsten Powers in the New York Post. Beanie Baby maker Ty Inc. has even released "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvelous Malia" dolls. Yes, Malia Obama is only 10, and Sasha just 7, but relax—this is good for America. "Who would you rather have your daughters looking up to—Lindsay Lohan or Malia Obama?"

That won't wash with the girls' mommy, said the Chicago Tribune in an editorial. First lady Michelle Obama doesn't want her kids being traded like Beanie Babies, and she's right. Cashing in on adult public figures is bad enough, but "it's creepy and invasive to appropriate the images of grade-school girls for profit."

"I understand why Michelle Obama is bristling, mama-grizzly-like, about the commercialization of her children," said Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post. But if letting Ty hawk these dolls "encourages children of any hue to want an African American doll, or to admire two African American girls whose father just happens to be president, maybe that's not such a bad trade-off."

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