Beautiful Black Dolls: Why Representation is the Key to Empowerment: By Katelyn Davis


 

The baby doll has always held a special place in the young girl’s heart. But Barbie, Baby Alive, Cabbage Patch Dolls, and many other mainstream doll manufacturers have done a job at whitewashing doll play across the board. In fact, in most popular stores, you’ll likely find a huge selection of porcelain dolls with a few ethnic dolls scattered in between. These dolls may have darker skin, but they rarely have features resembling our beautiful black youth. This lack of representation is hurtful, often even detrimental, to young girls, sending a negative message about their bodies, physical appearance, and importance.
As a result of the current mainstream doll industry, many moms have a hard time seeking out young beautiful black dolls for sale and instead turn to buy black dolls online. Thankfully, the internet has much more representation for these young, beautiful, black queens.

Do Dolls Affect Self Esteem?
As little girls, our baby dolls are much more than just a toy. They quickly become our playmates, tea party guests, medical patients, and daily companions. It wasn’t uncommon for our baby doll to accompany us through every move in our young lives, riding in our laps in the car, nesting into bed with us at night, acting as our security blanket and close friend. The connection formed with our baby dolls was important, since these dolls’ lives mirrored our own. For many young girls, a baby doll represents strength, courage, and individuality. A baby doll can be our main emotional support, our fashion icon, and can even help drive our career goals. Lack of representation for our young black youth is detrimental in these areas and more.
The Clark and Clark doll studies, dated in the late 1940’s, worked to prove the connection between children and their dolls. The study involved four dolls, each of different skin colors. The children were asked to choose which doll they connected with and decide which doll they preferred. Many children pointed to the white dolls and related them to positive attributes. Some children even felt ashamed to relate themselves to the dolls with darker skin. This study worked to prove many things, one of which being that segregation and lack of representation negatively impacted the self-esteem of our black youth.

Misrepresentation is Everywhere
Because of the lack of representation for our young black girls in the doll industry, our preschools, daycares, and playdates are riddled with this misrepresentation as well. Our youth face obstacles at every turn, but the world is changing. As parents, we want our children to know their worth, to bask in their capabilities, to wear their confidence on their sleeves. This is why it has never been more important to supply our young black youth with dolls created in their image. Beautiful black natural hair dolls are relatable for these girls, giving their imagination the opportunity to run wild and their hearts the chance to connect with their dolls the way every girl’s should.

Brains and Beauty Dolls Are For More Than Looks
Of course, we want our girls to embrace their beauty, hold their chin high, and never be ashamed of their melanin skin, but there is more to empowering our youth than simple aesthetics. That’s why Brains and Beauty dolls set out to do much more, each one loaded with empowering phrases to drive our young black girl’s goals and aspirations. These dolls offer much more than just a playmate, but instead equip our young girls with the confidence to chase their dreams. These ideals will be carried by our youth into adulthood, helping them become the powerful black queens they were destined to be.

 

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