Rebecca Gruber writes that there’s a good reason why this video about Afro-Caribbean-inspired Barbie dolls is going viral. The video focuses on changing perceptions of beauty, building self-esteem, and changing racial “issues” through play. With this in mind, model Mala Bryan created Malaville, a collection of Afro-Caribbean-inspired dolls. See video in the link below.
Doll play is an essential part of child development, teaching tots fine motor skills as well as storytelling and cognitive skills. But when children don’t see dolls that look like them — with their skin color and hair characteristics — that role play isn’t as helpful.
Model Mala Bryan was trying to find dolls to take back to her hometown in St. Lucia when she was struck with the lack of diversity and accuracy in the dolls that were available. She believed that every child should have a doll that they could relate to, that “the children can look at and be like, ‘you know what, she’s beautiful and I want to be like her.'” So she created Malaville, a collection of Afro-Caribbean-inspired dolls ($20 each) with bendable limbs, a variety of warm skin tones, and different textures of thick, curly hair. The dolls also come with brightly patterned clothes inspired by their founder’s Caribbean heritage.
Malaville dolls were introduced last year, but a video about them on the Now This Her Facebook page has gone viral, giving the brand some serious attention this week. In the video, Mala says she hopes the dolls help girls with their self-esteem, and based on the more than 3,000 comments on the post, that’s exactly what she’s doing.
For full article and video, see http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Barbie-Dolls-African-American-Kids-42632908
For purchasing Malaville dolls, see http://malaville-toys.myshopify.com/