(Photo Courtesy: Ehow)
When I was a little girl, my father braved the freezing cold and stood in line for hours to purchase an African-American Cabbage Patch Doll named Dickie, which coincidentally is my dad’s nickname. Dickie wasn’t my first child from Babyland General, but he was the first one who had brown skin like me! It was love at first sight. I loved his crinkly brown hair and his deep dimples. My grandmother made a leather jumper and jacket for him–an outfit I fought over when I little girl threw him in the snow. I retaliated an pushed her down on the ground. Dickie was special, especially since retailers weren’t cranking out many brown babies on their assembly lines.
Although I loved my blonde-haired and blue-eyed dolls, the connection to Dickie was different. He was “really” a part of my family. I took him everywhere. I was proud to carry a doll that looked like me. His hair was coarse, and his brown was beautiful. I didn’t know about self-esteem or confidence at the time, but I did know he made me feel good about myself. After college, he moved with me to Lexington, Kentucky, where I worked as a television reporter. I didn’t play with him as I did a decade prior. Nonetheless, he had a special place in my room and in my heart. (OK, he may have lived in the closet, but I still loved him dearly!)
As a first time mom, I want to give my daughter that same experience. Fortunately, times have changed, and I don’t have to stand in long lines in winter weather to buy a brown baby. Store shelves are now stocked with not only Black baby dolls but ones ranging in all skin colors. You may have to search and shop a little harder to find them. I’ll still purchase dolls of all colors for my child and will let her select which ones she wants. She should have a diverse collection to reflect our diverse world. But I will make sure the dolls reflect who she is–a pretty brown girl. Here are five dolls I recently added (or plan to add) to her collection.
This doll is absolutely adorable! It looks like my little girl who always sports two Afro puffs and tutus. My daughter loves this doll. She always wants to take the shoes off.
I haven’t bought this doll yet, but the Baby Alive Collection comes in various shades and styles.
I ordered this doll online to go with a matching Disney Princess Pram. I was very disappointed to go to the Kohl’s Store and find every doll in the line on sale except Princess Tiana. Perhaps the store ran out. Not sure, but when I returned, I didn’t see her on the shelves. I ordered it on Amazon. I’m looking forward to Disney producing more movies with brown princesses.
Marvelous Maria by Positively Perfect
While writing this entry, I came across this doll. Every doll represents positive statements, such as “I am proud,” “I am smart,” or “I am beautiful.” They are lovingly designed to show the beauty in our diversity, from curly to straight hair and buttercream to chocolate skin. What a wonderful way to encourage a healthy self-esteem!
I cannot wait to take my daughter to the American Girl Store in New York. I think I’ll take the trip for her third birthday. I imagine this to be the ultimate doll shopping experience. I bit pricey, so I better start saving my pennies now!
Hey DFTM Fam–What dolls would you add to the list? Send us a link or a photo!