Have you heard of Healthy Roots?
It’s a new doll line that is meant to introduce more diversity into the toy aisle by creating dolls of girls with different ethnic backgrounds that will also be used to teach girls of color proper hair care.
Isn’t that great?
College student Yelitsa Jean-Charles started Healthy Roots when she realized there were few dolls that represented girls of color and the ones that did usually had typical straight doll hair, which most girls of color don’t have.
Healthy Roots has four dolls that it makes and sells:
- Zoe, an African-American bookworm;
- Dara, a Nigerian website coder;
- Gaiana, a Haitian musician, and
- Marinda, an Afro-Brazilian science and sports lover.
With each doll will come a book teaching girls how to care for and style their hair in a variety of ways.
It’s not just Healthy Roots that is trying to inject more diversity into the toy aisle. There is also:
- Mixis’ “Toy Like Me” dolls that come with hearing aids, burns scars, and other characteristics that don’t normally show up on dolls;
- Lammily, a doll with more realistic proportions than Barbie and that allows kids to add perceived imperfections like acne, stretch marks, and cellulite;
- the anti-Barbie hippy doll Feral Cheryl, and
- Prettie Girls!, dolls from South Asian, African, and various other cultures.
What Yelitsa is doing is great for children of color because they are underrepresented in the toy aisle and these dolls will help to change that.
Keep up the good work, Yelitsa!