We live in a world where small families are becoming normalised and children are surrounded with fewer or no siblings and so dolls help to fill that gap. No child’s childhood is complete without he or she having had no dolls as toys to play with. Over the years, dolls have become increasingly rampant as part of a child’s early life, so much that 9 in every 10 children; from the ages of 3-10, has a doll. One of the fun parts of growing up as a kid was owning a doll, because without it, “childhood” will be nothing short of boring.
The earliest dolls can be traced back to the ancient civilisation of Greece, Egypt, and Rome, in the 100AD’s; where dolls were made as playthings and served as forms for art expression. But in recent times, and with the aid of industrialisation, dolls are becoming something more,-close to a child’s best friend and play mate. The appearances of the modern day dolls are nothing short of perfection, resembling the human figure in almost every way; made and packaged in different sizes, big, medium and small, so as to suit the intended preferences of the owner or buyer. Many doll manufacturing companies have taken the invention and production of dolls to a whole new level, yet still a question remains unanswered; which is, why don’t these companies make black dolls too?
Majority people think that dolls are made and meant for only the female genders, which in facts, is not completely true, and cannot hold water, because some boys love dolls just as much as girls do. Dolls are playthings, made for both genders, as there are both male and female dolls sculpted all around the world. Thus, if dolls are fun toys for children of both genders; showing no stereotype, why then are there less to zero black dolls present in the doll market industries? Some of these doll-manufacturing companies like Target produce lots of beautiful dolls that are well designed and packaged, but base their productions on only white dolls, with little or no black dolls produced, thereby promoting racial discrimination amongst children, at a very tender age.
For years, the black race has been looked down on, scorned and perceived as unequal in comparison to the white race, causing the black man to be treated unjustly in a world that they should be accepted, but is that reason enough that only white dolls be made? This can affect the mentality of a black child, that if it isn’t white, then it is no doll. The black child is then antagonized into growing up in a world that does not represent her because she’s being influenced to believe that white doll is all that should be acceptable.
Although many doll companies/stores such as the Queens of Africa Dolls, Ikuzi Dolls, Positively Perfect Dolls etc., and others alike, having realised that the absence of black dolls in the doll market industries doesn’t help the situation, have taken measures to produce and manufacture black dolls, but there are only a few of them; which still raises the flag that white dolls are produced mostly. Besides, some of these large black dolls companies don’t cater to both genders.
How then do you teach a black child self- love if she cannot learn to love herself first, if she cannot see herself as beautiful, and if she cannot love her skin colour; when in every store she goes to, there are only white dolls being sold? As little as it may look, manufacturing only white dolls is capable of doing more than that. It is capable of causing a black child a low self-esteem. It can also go a long way in passing the wrong messages to a child from a tender age that black isn’t beautiful. Hence with the modern age and civilisation, black dolls should be manufactured and produced just as much as the white dolls are. And to the very few companies already producing black dolls, they should be encouraged to produce more, as this could help a black child learn quickly that owning means is just as much as the same as owning a white doll.
Many black women with their black kids need these black dolls to represent them, promoting self-love in the black race. So that when these kids play with these dolls, they can see themselves in it, and thus redefining the beauty of a black woman. It will also change the way black children look at themselves, rather than inferior, they’d see themselves as equals. The point here is not to say that white dolls should no longer be manufactured, they should, but so should black dolls; as it’s very rare to see white kids go into a doll store to pick out a black doll, than you see a black kid do the same. When a black child sees a doll looking exactly like her, bearing her features, familiarity is first acknowledged, and then the child quickly learns to see herself as beautiful.
Dolls are generally a “must have” toys to kids growing up, and there are so many different types you can find in the doll markets and stores. Thus since dolls are fun toys to be used and played with by kids, white dolls should not only be the type produced in doll market industries. White kids also need racial diversity represented in their toys, and so more black dolls should be produced by doll market industries and stores too, to help foster acceptance, friendship, love and care between children of all races. It will help build their character and self-esteem, teaching our young children self-love.