Hi guys! I’m here to talk about something very close to my heart. Doll diversity! But why does it matter? I mean, we now have Create Your Own dolls, and we had a GOTY Gabriela. So why all the fuss?
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.
Abigail: Okay Kelsey, why don’t you and Yuko pick out your new birthday doll together.
Kelsey: Yay! I want a doll that has red hair, like me!
Wait a second…
Kelsey: None of these dolls have red hair at all! In fact, there are only three dolls with white skin like me.
Yuko: Geez, there’s only one Asian doll…
…and she looks nothing like me.
Kelsey: Aw, that’s not fair!
Addy: Hello, and welcome to ALL DOLLS! Is there anything I can help you with?
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.
Addy: Oh of course, how silly of me. Hang on a second.
Addy: Here you go!
Abigail: But that doll is blonde with blue eyes.
Addy: Oh dear, I am so sorry!
Addy: Did you want the brunette version?
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.
6 thoughts on “DOES DOLL DIVERSITY MATTER?”
This is a thoughtful and wonderful post. Diversity in the doll world is very important.
Yes, I fall into the privileged group with the exception of eye color. When I was little I had blonde hair (it’s gotten darker of the years) and brown eyes. Every doll had blonde hair with blue eyes (as you mentioned in the post). I searched for a blonde with brown eyes for a very long time until I was paging through the AG catalog back in 2000. There she was! I was thrilled. I can only imagine the joy felt when others find their dream doll that looks like them without having to settle. we definitely need more diversity!
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Thank you! Yes, every little girl should feel they belong in the doll world and they should have choices that look like them. I am so sad when I see very little ethnic representation for dolls. I know it is getting better, but it is still not nearly enough.
Wow that was a really interesting post, I love that you changed the view point and reversed the roles to truly show how wrong it is and how biased people are! Also Yuko and Kelsey are really cute, what brand are they, just curious.
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Thank you so much! It really hits home when you reverse the situation. It becomes so much more relatable, and the disparity becomes glaringly obvious. It’s just a significant lack of equality, and it has been incredibly normalized in our society. That is what is so wrong.
Kelsey and Yuko are called Bumbleberry Girls. They are actually the little sisters to the Newberry Girls which have now been renamed Kindred Hearts dolls. They are 14 inches like the Hearts4Hearts dolls as well as the Wellie Wishers. Kelsey’s mom is a Newberry/Kindred Hearts doll. I love this doll brand. They are very pretty. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by! ❤
My complimemts on a thoughtful and empathetic essay!
Thank you! 😊❤️