I guess I have the privilege of saying that I never felt the lack of having brown dolls in my collection of toys growing up. Whether that was because my mother hid how hard it was for her to find me brown doll babies (even though I always managed to have a plethora of them), or because it was just easier to find them in our area of Prince George's County, Maryland, I'll never know. But I can say that shopping for cute little brown baby dolls in New York City has been surprisingly hard. And now, not only am I hearing about how difficult it is to find brown dolls here, but I'm also hearing the same frustrations from my friends and family members across the country. The slim pickings of searching for doll babies that look like their little mocha skinned girls really pains me. And that's why the first (of many) Beautifully Brown Obsessions is with the Curly Girl's Collective 'All Dolled Up' charity affair.
Late last year, founders of The Curly Girl Collective, decided that little brown girls in New York shouldn't have to go without beautiful dolls that look like them. In a joint partnership with the local Girls Inc. chapter, the CGC members transformed their 2,500 square-foot open Soho loft into the CGC Doll House, donating brown dolls to kids from all over the city.
"It's hard to believe young girls like Tiana Parker and Vanessa Van Dyke are being sent home from school because their natural hair is deemed unkempt," said Tracey Coleman who is a co-founder and the director of events for CGC. I agree. And not only did Tracey feel the pain of those little girls who made national news because of their school's decision that their hair wasn't acceptable, Coleman and her partners decided to do something positive and effective about it.
Beautifully Brown salutes the ladies of Curly Girl Collective in their initiative to deliver gorgeous brown dolls to little girls in the New York City area. I only hope they can inspire more women (and men) to keep inspiring young girls to feel confident in who they are and where they come from.
Photographer Credit: Omar McKenzie
-Melanie Yvette Martin
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