COLOURFUL DOLLS

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I am mixed race. Half black and Half white. People have asked me:

“But do you feel more black or more white”

LOL

I just feel like… me. I love my grandad’s salt fish fritters just as much as love my nan’s ham, egg and chips. I love Beres Hammond, Bryan Adams, Lauryn Hill, Celine Dion, Old Skool Garage, Opera, Grime and Pop. I really can’t say if any of this defines what colour I am inside – whatever that means. I feel like other people are more bothered about it than I am. I really don’t care. I like what I like, if it’s good then it’s good.

I try to pass this way of thinking down to my children too. Okay, so genetically they are 75% black, so more “black” than me (this is bloody ridiculous) but I think they should just like what they want to like, do what they want to do and not feel like they have to be any certain way. (Just not racist. They are NOT allowed to be racist.)

Up until recently I have had no causes for concern and I really can’t remember the last time I spoke about skin colour or race and I definitely haven’t in front of my children. But somebody has. I’m not sure who. But I feel like something has influenced my daughter because I heard her say:

“I don’t like the brown lady, I like the white lady, I be the white lady”

Me: (shocked) “Why don’t you like the brown lady?” (hoping for a reason other than that she’s brown)

Daughter: “Because she’s brown”

Me: “That’s not a reason not to like her”

Also me: “You are brown too”

Daughter: (smiles… laughs) “YOU’RE ONLY JOKING, I’M NOT BROWN”

Me: (straightest face ever) “NO… SERIOUSLY. LOOK AT YOUR ARM. IT IS BROWN. YOU ARE BROWN. AND YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. I’M BROWN, YOUR BROTHER IS BROWN AND DADDY IS BROWN”

I had a moment of panic thinking what if she wants to be white when she’s older?! What if she bleaches her skin, what if she thinks she’s not the most beautiful girl in the world? (she is by the way)

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Is it my fault? She has 7 Elsa dolls and only 1 Tiana. I think my brain was going a bit over the top but I decided that I did need to nip this in the bud before it turned into a ‘thing’.

So I searched for different dolls. Ones that looked like her, ones that didn’t, darker, lighter, curly hair, straight hair. I wanted to show her that Elsa was not the only queen, Elsa is not “the best” and that everyone is beautiful especially including no ESPECIALLY my daughter.

It was only then that I realised how hard it is to source a variety of dolls especially black and brown dolls. I ended up ordering some beautiful ones from South Africa. The Dolls weren’t expensive in my opinion but the postage bloody was and then I had to pay customs fees on top of that.

Anyway, shortly after I was introduced to Colourful Dolls at House of Moja and they are SO cool. They have black dolls, white dolls, CURVY dolls (I didn’t even know they existed but they do and they are AWESOME). And the bit that gets me the most excited is that each doll comes with its own exclusive outfit and hanger! When I gave the doll to my daughter she goes:

“WOW she’s so pretty and cool”

Her reaction made my chest warm. It might not sound like a big deal to some people, but the idea that my 3-year-old has already been influenced in some way to prefer a skin colour, scares me. And it scares me more that I don’t know where this influence came from. I can’t put the blame on Elsa.

For all I know, my 3 year old’s comment about not liking the brown lady could’ve been a one-off. Sometimes kids just come out with things and they don’t know what they mean. She might have just been copying something that she heard, or she might have just fancied being a racist that day. Either way, it’s my job to make sure it doesn’t manifest and to teach her that it is wrong to dislike someone because of the colour of their skin.

Colourful Dolls can help us to teach children about variety, equality and inclusion. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I‘ve finally found a place to buy different dolls without having to burn a massive hole in my pocket. I’m annoyed actually that I didn’t have these dolls when I was little, I would’ve loved playing dress up with these beauties!

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I’d love to know what you think about this. Do your children have a variety of dolls? Do you think it’s important that they are easily accessible ? Leave a comment below x

Check out the range of dolls at House of Moja NOW!

You can follow all of the House of Moja brands on instagram:

@Colourfuldolls  @Redgoldgreenart  @Houseofmoja

And on Facebook.

This is not a paid post.
One Messy Mama

Life Is Knutts

Mummascribbles

The Pramshed
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39 thoughts on “COLOURFUL DOLLS

  1. Oh I hear ya. I have the same problem. I am darker than my husband but we are from the same part of the world. My eldest daughter has the same skin tone as me whilst my youngest 2 are lighter. I have never pointed this fact out but they must’ve heard it from school. Kids being kids they say and see things so innocently and naively.

    So now I hear them keep pointing out characters on tv ‘oh the brown girl is you and I’m the light girl’. I feel my eldest daughter not liking her colour always thinking my younger to be more prettier and it breaks my heart.

    I keep telling her that we are all different colour which tell us where we are from, how boring would the world be if we were all the same. I am darker am I less beautiful? And she would say no.

    I also emphasis how a good heart is more important than what you look like. The work you do in the inside is much more important than just to look good. But to a 5 and 7 year girl being bombarded with fair skin Barbie dolls and cartoons and tv shows where brown girls are few and far between It’s a little hard to not get swept up.

    I’ve been searching the web to get better role models and books with diverse strong girls just for this purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to say that your daughter is beautiful, she needs you to tell her that in the best way you know how, which I can see that you and the other commenters here do. I made up my mind when I was very little that I had no colour, I did not belong to one group or the other. I was me a human being first and foremost and what others wanted to label me as didn’t count. This came about for various reasons. I had white dolls and teddy bears growing up, but I knew who I was, not because I was told but because I was loved.
    I make cloth dolls and have always resisted the urge to make ‘black or white dolls. I have always wanted to make a doll that would resonate with the recipient. They are made from vintage fabrics which come in a variety of shades. I like to think that is what we as a human race are, shades of love, because we all are first and foremost human beings, all the same under the skin beautifully and wonderfully made by God so what the world wants to label us takes second place to this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow, this is a brilliant post for sure. As a mum raising black children, like you it’s so important for me they feel happy in confident in who they are, and love others for how they are. I too, try and make sure there are enough black dollies around, so they feel represented and valid too.

    I did some work last year for a client called Looks Like Me, you should check out their story, as it started out pretty much like this. All the best to you and your lovely family. Yvadney x #BrillBlogPosts

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You daughter absolutely is beautiful and I think you handled the situation really well. I also LOVE how stylish the Colourfull Dolls are I would think they were pretty cool too if I was 3! My sons are mixed race. I’m Chinese and my husband is English so we have conversations about race quite regularly, I think it’s definitely important to teach our children about equality.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh look at her gorgeous little face at the end with her doll. She loves it and so she should. It’s an interesting point you have made. Sadly I have come across this recently with a friend/neighbour of ours. They too are a mixed race family and the little girl is four. Her older brother carried out an experiment asking her questions about two different pictures, one was a black lady and one was white. She answered positively about the white and always negatively about the black. It was such a sad story to hear. It does make you worry, in this day and age what and where they are getting influenced by. The little girl I am talking about is such a pretty little thing, as is your daughter. I’m sure with your great parenting (fab idea by the way!) they will both grown up loving the colour of their skin, as they should. Brilliant post. #fortheloveofblog

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Firstly, your daughter is beautiful and it’s scary that someone may have influenced her to not think her skin colour is beautiful. I’m white and have often just thought “ugh, I’m so pale – I wish I could wear white, yellows and limes and look great in them like black women do!”
    I don’t remember seeing many black dolls available, but I’ve had a quick browse of the website you linked where you got your daughter’s doll from and I’ll definitely be buying some for my daughter when she’s older. The doll your daughter has is lovely – I just love the outfits too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah look at her face in that photo – she is adorable. I haven’t really thought about it but I have considered what or how my little ones would think about different skin colours – nothing I hope but then when they are so young and unknowing who knows. I think having a variety of different dolls (assuming they play with dolls) is a great thing, different skin colour, hair colour, clothing etc, keep their minds open and make differences the norm – if that makes sense. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I bought my son a doll recently, it’s white and it’s got pink clothes – I didn’t really think about it in the shop because there were no other choices. I definitely think there needs to be more diversity in dolls, especially after reading this! #CoolMumClub

    Like

  9. I love your honesty and willingness to share this post! I also think that you handled it perfectly. That’s the one thing I love and miss about South Africa. As parents we are able to openly have discussions about race and differences without being seen as being negative or racist. In most cases! I’m not saying other countries aren’t like that, my own experience of being in the states is that being are nervous to speak freely in case they offend someone. Which I can understand as well! My daughters were given a brown ballerina doll (which they love), from their godparents (from SA). I can’t wait to go have a look a House of Moya … Such a good find! Thank you for sharing! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  10. When I was little, my favourite princess was Jasmine. She is so exotic and beautiful. I had blonde hair and fair skin and tbh it seemed boring to me. As I grew up, I straightened out my waves whilst straight haired friends curled theirs. I guess when you’re young, the opposite of what you are appeals. It is good to see more variety from Disney, red headed Merida, Lilo, Tiana, and now Moana. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a magnificent read. I agree, I don’t think there is enough diversity in kids toys, in the media and in the movies for kids. I was at my daughter’s school today for a Mass – it’s a catholic school, and whilst sitting looking at the entire year R & 1 I actually reflected on how beautifully diverse it is. It made me happy. It’s always been incredibly important to me that my kids are open minded and exposed to lots of different cultures. It’s her birthday next month, maybe I should grab one of these dolls 😉
    Thanks so much for linking – your daughter is absolutely beautiful.
    #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have a 2 year old daughter and I am ashamed to say that I have never given much thought in the colour of the dolls I have bought for her, well, in fact I have only ever seen white dolls! Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention, your post has really resonated with me, especially in the current political climate (I seem to have daily arguments with racists at the moment). Your daughter is absolutely beautiful by the way, and you’re doing an amazing job in bringing her up! #TwinklyTuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is really interesting and thought provoking. I feel like there is a lot more variety of dolls around these days, but in mainstream popular culture, and Disney movies, white characters still dominate. The Princess And The Frog is great, but where are the multi racial characters in Frozen? I am sure your daughter’s comment was a one off, and it’s great she enjoys the Colourful Dolls. But there needs to be more variety of races featured in the TV and film kids are exposed too. #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree. Sometimes I watch the kids tv thinking “why aren’t there any black/brown ones?” or when there there is one (like in Sofia The First they have one of each race) I get really excited. My daughter probably doesn’t even notice lol

      Like

  14. It’s fascinating what kids pick up isn’t it? I’m glad you found what you were looking for. They look beautiful – as does your daughter. My little three year old said the other day – “why is that man orange?” and I was worried for a split second but then saw she was talking about Donald Trump on the telly. I felt like saying ‘because he’s a silly man’ but as that had little probably to do with it in the end said, “because variety is the spice of life, everyone is different, unique and beautiful”

    “Even that man?” she said. No fooling her 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I LOVE this post! This is really relevant to some things that have happened in our house recently, and something I have been thinking a lot about. My daughter and I were talking about her nursery friends recently, and exploring the similarities and differences between people (she’s just shy of 3). She told me all about her friends, and how they all have hair which is the same but heir hair is different colours and styles etc and that’s different. She talked in particular about her two ‘best’ friends, a white boy and a black girl. And not once did she mention the colour of anyone’s skin. I was overjoyed to know that her cute little brain hasn’t been infected yet with thoughts of skin colour, and when it does come up I will be sure to talk to her tons about how the colour of someone’s skin has no impact on who they are, just the same as the colour of their hair doesn’t! Also, just the other day, I saw black dolls in our local pound shop (although I wasn’t sure about their name ‘Urban Doll’) but they were there alongside the ‘Goth Doll’, the ‘Rockstar Doll’ and the ‘Chef Doll’. Great post! #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

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