I’ve been thinking about something for the past few weeks that has just been eating me up inside. And after attending BlogHer 09 and sitting in on the Women of Color session PLUS having lunch with a group of lovely women of color, it’s been on my mind even more.
Why is it so hard to find dolls that my daughter can identify with? Dolls that she can look at and recognize that they look something like her?
And why is it that when you do find a doll that is “brown” that’s all she is? It irks me to no end that the same freaking doll is just painted a different color and BAM! We suddenly offer “multicultural” dolls! Yay for us!
No. That’s not enough.
Where are the rest of the defining features? The hair? Facial features? It’s more than just the skin color that’s different.
Right as I’m thinking about all this, I come across a link to this post: Her Name Is Orange Blossom, Dammit.
And, well, I left the longest comment I think I’ve ever left on a blog post. It’s worth repeating.
A few things, in no specific order other than the randomness in which they come out of my brain:
- Not just African American moms deal with this. Anyone whose image is not portrayed.
- “…trying to assure our daughters that their chocolate skin and kinky hair and wide noses and thick lips and curvy bodies are beautiful and relevant too…” And yet even THIS we cannot achieve because the “brown” dolls out there are just that. Brown. They just overlay the color over the same model doll they use for the white-skin dolls and there is no representation of other defining features. The brown dolls have the same hair and same look as the other dolls, and really…don’t our girls deserve more?
- I cannot believe the rep didn’t know her name.
- Did you get the bag at BlogHer ‘09? The one with the DVD in it? We just watched it the other night. Guess what? The Orange Blossom character in that movie looks NOTHING like the picture you have in your post. She also looks A LOT LIGHTER than the doll itself. (I got the much coveted Orange Blossom doll at BlogHer.) But, yea, the cartoon version in that DVD…she’s barely got a tan on her. They didn’t.even.try.
Sorry. I guess I had a lot to say and just came across your post at the right time cause I’ve been thinking about all this for the past few weeks.
I know that most dolls out there aren’t exactly made in the image of any little girl. Their bodies are disproportionate and don’t look anything like our girls. I get that. But, imagine having another layer on top of that.
Raising multicultural children is hard enough. Do I really have to fight every step of the way?
Fine. So be it. My daughter’s worth it.