How to market a Black Doll to our Children?

2 years ago

We wrote an article about Black Dolls and how they were “invented” each year by an entrepreneur who want to help black children to realise that they are beautiful “too”.
Let us again go through the press releases for the Black dolls available to buy online. Not much has changed from our old article. Maybe, it’s a “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” situation. But is it beneficial for these businesses and their own customers.

<< We are FICO Solutions Nigeria LTD, the creators of first ever Nigerian Fashion dolls: The Queens of Africa & Naija Princesses. The Queens of Africa program is dedicated, through the use of books, dolls, comics, music and animation series, to help empower children of African descent and their counterparts to be confident and matured ethically. The dolls and materials are designed, through fun and engaging materials, to subconsciously promote African heritage >>

<< The Natural Girls United! project has turned into a business, and is something that I hope will help to bring a positive view of what ethnic beauty is. There is a serious need for our young girls to be able to have dolls that look like them. It is something that affects their self esteem and confidence, and how they fell about themselves. But each day we learn that it is important to show them and teach them that their beauty is beautiful >>

<< The Sibahle Collection wants children to see the beauty of their skin, Sibahle is a Zulu word that means “We are beautiful”. The dolls in the Sibahle collection have features that resemble most African and Caribbean children’s facial and body features.
“We decided to do this, is because we want our children to know they are beautiful the way they are. We hope the doll’s hair will teach our children how to take care of their own natural hair from a young age and to love the skin that their in.” >>

<< Makedaa was a strong, powerful, and beautiful Ethiopian queen, ruler of a large empire in East Africa. In a world where the standards of beauty rarely acknowledge them, little black girls sometimes struggle to build self-esteem.
In that context, “Makedaa” becomes the symbol of acceptance and positive identification.
Our magnificent dolls are designed not only with black skin but also with black features,
healthy silhouettes and luxurious afros for our precious little ones to feel recognized, beautiful and loved >>

So, saving our children self-esteem through representation is where it’s at, right?
But, unless your family live in an hostile environment (racism at school, adults opinions and bad experiences discussed in front of children, discomfort from a different area than a Black neighboorhood), does your child really need saving? Like every children, their never ending creativity and imagination is demanding something else FIRST. What can it be?
Have you completely forgotten the very young version of yourself? Do you remember your first doll(s) and the relationship you developed with them? There was so much love and attention involved, so much private conversations away from the adult world.
My first doll was white and I called her Doris (unless that was her name on her box). Her hair was not an issue for me and I encouraged her to not have any hang-ups about it, I loved her anyway. I had no sense of superiority over her, I just grew up in an environment where racism, race relations and white people problems were none of our businesses.

So would you have liked, as a child, these websites above and their narrative about your future doll: NO.

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