Let’s take a look at our doll friends Kelsey and Yuko as they shop with Kelsey’s mom at the very popular doll shop called ALL DOLLS.
Kelsey: Yay! I want a doll that has red hair, like me!
Wait a second…
Abigail: Yes, my daughter would like to buy a doll for her birthday.
Addy: Here is our Doll of the Year, or she can choose one of the dolls from our LOOKS LIKE ME line. The choices are there on that poster behind you.
Abigail: Um, yes that doll is absolutely beautiful as are the others, but you see my daughter is Caucasian.
Abigail: But that doll is blonde with blue eyes.
As a mom and a lover of all things dolls, this was very sad and uncomfortable for me to write. Likely it was awkward and uncomfortable for you to read. Looking at it this way, not having diversity in the doll world appears ludicrous and insane, but this has been the reality for a very long time.
I can’t even imagine what it would be like walking with my daughter into a doll store full of coloured dolls, with only one or two Caucasian dolls to choose from. My mom heart aches thinking about that. This is what white privilege looks like! And this is why diversity in the doll world matters!
I also want to point out that it was very difficult for me to put together that poster as I could only find about ten or so pictures of dark skinned dolls. Many of the pictures on the poster are duplicate dolls just in different clothes, and I even had to find some pictures of dolls with dark skin from other brands besides AG.
Then when I went to choose pictures of white dolls to put on the poster, I was bombarded with a million pictures to choose from.
It’s not right, and we need to recognize that. We need to understand exactly what it means to be marginalized in society because of skin colour. We need to demand better.
Now, I’m not doing a soapbox rant. I’m just a mom who would be devastated if this was my daughter at the doll shop.