A Black Doll with Crossover Appeal – Building Our Children’s Self Esteem and Educating The Masses
Latest posts by Dianne Austin (see all)
Image courtesy of Jacob Slaton for The New York Times
This article has nothing to do with hair; at least not directly. It has everything to do with young black girls and self esteem; something very important to us here at Natural Haircare News.
There was a time when finding a multicultural doll in the traditional marketplace was a nearly impossible feat. Thankfully times have changed.
I can remember as a child being thrilled to get a black Barbie doll with ‘afro hair’ since most of the popular dolls that were available at the time were white dolls.
There is nothing wrong with having a white doll if you are black, but given the special challenges that children of color face when it comes to the prevailing European standards of beauty in the media, films, television and magazines, it has always been important for many parents of color to be sure that if their child was in fact interested in playing with dolls, that their child at least owned a few dolls that looked like them. Couple that with the importance of instilling a sense of appreciating for one’s own beauty, it is understandable that it is human nature to want to have dolls that look like you.
Appreciating this cultural history, I was fascinated and quite gratified to read the New York Times article, Race in Toyland: A Non White Doll Crosses Over which shares insights on the crossover appeal of Doc McStuffins, a black doll, complete with stethoscope and doctor’s coat.
It’s a wonderful article and worth reading: Race in Toyland: A Non White Doll Crosses Over
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