Our little girls need to know that beauty comes in a range of shades and complexions, a belief that Mala Bryan, a St. Lucian designer, conveys with her Afro-Caribbean inspired doll collection Malaville.
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Her beautiful Barbie-like dolls are specifically created to celebrate the diversity of our community, but one fan recently complained that perhaps one of her dolls Maisha was overdosing on the melanin, the Huffington Post recently reported.
“I think that one doll is a bit too dark,” C Lincoln, a commenter wrote. “I think it’s safe to say that’s the least selling. Keep the other three,” she continued.
Sending lots of love to the beautiful dark skinned people out there, especially to those that share the same complexion as our #MaishaDoll just know that your black is beautiful, this comment really touched me today and I just needed to share it on here as well. Hopefully it will help us spread some extra love around. x MB #Repost @malabryan with @repostapp ・・・ So this comment was made about my #MaishaDoll. I was thinking about just ignoring it but I'm sharing just so that people realize that our super dark people must still be facing a huge problem. This is just sad. Although I got a compliment at the end, the person had the nerve to talk about her being the least selling when she actually my second best selling. Ugh!
Thankfully, another commenter, ZoZoZu, got this lady together by letting her now that, “I don’t believe a doll can be too dark,” she said. “Black, in all shades, is indeed beautiful and that’s what Mala Bryan is trying to communicate to the world.”
Bryan saw the exchange and later posted a screenshot of it on her Instagram page, praising ZoZoZu’s rebuttal. In the caption, she also admitted that she thought about ignoring the comment, but thought that it would be better served if she exposed this bias for the world to see.
“Sending lots of love to the beautiful dark skinned people out there, especially to those that share the same complexion as our #MaishaDoll just know that you black is beautiful,” Bryan wrote.
Oh and according to Bryan, Maisha is her second best-seller.
Colorism is a real and serious problem in our community, which is why dolls that show a range of shades and hair textures are so crucial in helping build our younger generation’s self-esteem. In the end, every little girl deserves to see themselves and be affirmed in popular culture. Thank you Mala for all that you do!