If you have a young daughter of color, then like me, you may struggle to find a doll that looks just like her at your local toy store.
Retail stores reported strong sales over Thanksgiving for tech toys and electronics. And though gadgets continue to grow in popularity, the demand for dolls has never wavered. And during the holiday season, my little one, along with millions of children around the globe, is hoping to find her favorite doll wrapped and tied in a bow.
But, what options are there for consumers who want a doll that reflects their child’s physical features and characteristics? With the United States Census reporting that people of color will make up the majority of the population in 2043, toy manufacturers have responded, albeit slowly, with a darker-skinned Barbie, Dora the Explorer, Doc McStuffins and The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana.
But companies like The One World Doll Project
and Natural Girls United!
want to push the envelope further. Both entities have created doll lines that feature a multitude of ethnicities, along with the physical characteristics of girls and women of color.
According to Trent T. Daniel, co-founder of One World Doll, offering dolls that reflect diversity is not just about the physical characteristics of the doll, it is also about the message that society and toy manufacturers are giving to youth of color.
“The bottom line is that millions of women of color say, ‘It’s hard to find dolls that look like my little girl.’ And when you look in the marketplace you do see some dolls of color but these dolls should also reflect what little girls of color feel and think about themselves,” Daniel said. “Girls of color should feel that companies are taking the time to create dolls that reflect who they are. We don’t want to just produce dolls of color – we want dolls that come with mindful concepts that make a contribution to society as whole. ”