About a year ago I bought my daughter the Kenya: Growing Up Proud Doll. We found her in Burlington’s but she, along with her “friends” are available at select retailers (according to their website). She has hair you can style that can be curly or straight, and it comes with beads and a beading tool. This lovely doll is what got my daughter into wanting to try beads in her own hair. She also felt represented because the doll was similar to her. It also helped me realize even more how important it was to have curly haired dolls for my kids.
#RepresentationMatters in so many aspects of life. From books, to television/entertainment, and toys. I made it a mission to surround my kids with curly haired dolls and books with characters of color and with curly hair. But even this apparently can be troublesome. Specifically with the Kenya doll I bought a year ago. Recently I saw a mother share how the one she bought came with a “hair lotion” that would turn the dolls hair straight again if you had gotten her hair wet and curly. I remembered that I saw that on the box and was glad the one we got didn’t come with that.
What are your opinions on “hair lotion” for a doll to make their curls straight? Personally I didn’t want my daughter to have that one because I am trying to teach her to love and accept her curly, natural hair. I don’t think we should be teaching children that curly hair can be straightened. Kids, especially multiracial / of color, see straight hair around them all over. They don’t need to see it as something simple and easy to do on a doll. Because the reality is that straightening hair isn’t simple. It can cause a lot of damage. Not only to the hair but to a kids self-acceptance.
My daughter told me at a young age she wanted straight hair like me. It’s been a mission of mine to encourage curl-love. We even got my son a curly haired boy doll (affiliate link) for his birthday (technically my aunt got it for him.) He LOVES it.
What are your thoughts on this? Is it important for your curly-haired / multiracial kids to have dolls that look like them? What about the “hair lotion” to straighten the dolls hair? I would also love to hear what your favorite curly-haired / multiracial looking dolls are?
Thanks for reading.
You can find biracial hair care tips and tricks, along with multiracial family life topics over at MixedFamilyLife.com.