This picture of little Honor Marie Warren and her brown doll got us thinking…
For years, the debate has gone on that playing with dolls that look like her can greatly boost a little girl’s self-esteem. Honor’s parents, reluctant Latina Jessica Alba and her half-Black husband Cash Warren, made sure to get their daughter a doll that looks like how she’ll grow up to be…
But some folks, like the people behind the Black Baby Doll Project, say even the Brown/Black Barbie doll doesn’t quite do the trick every time.
The project, which is in its 13th year, has collected more than 300 dolls, including Barbies, Kenya dolls and professional dolls. The Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott has some caveats, though, about the types of dolls they accept.
Tattoos, piercings, a ton of makeup drawn on and skimpy clothes are some of the automatic disqualifiers for the dolls. They are supposed to model average black girls and women, Cornett-Scott said. Another big requirement, and a harder one to meet, is finding dolls that have authentic black features.
She held up three examples. The first, a doll with dark brown skin and a short bob, the next with braided hair and glasses, and the last with curls and full lips.
“We don’t want dolls that look like white dolls that have been painted black,” Scott said.
Every young black girl should have a doll that looks like she does, Scott said. “We want them to think ‘this doll is beautiful, and it looks like me.”
One participant in the program took it one step further.
“It doesn’t just make us proud of who we are, but accepting of other cultures because we have pride in our own,” Shaw said.
Do you think a young girl’s self-esteem and acceptance of other cultures is boosted by playing with dolls who look like her? Or are we grown ups making way to big of a deal about it all?