It’s no secret that colorism — the belief that lighter skin is more attractive — is a problem in the Black community.
This is why it’s crucial for our young girls to see themselves (in all their beautiful shades) in pop culture, leadership and especially in their own dolls. Representation is a major trend in toys for this generation of kids as we have come to expect dolls, especially, to be more realistic in appearance, like having proportional body types and even acne. Mala Bryan, a St. Lucian toy designer, does exactly that with her Afro-Caribbean inspired doll collection, Malaville.
But as the Huffington Post recently reported, a commenter thought it was a good idea to tell Bryan that one of her dolls, Maisha, had too much “melanin.”
“I think that one doll is a bit too dark,” C Lincoln wrote. “I think it’s safe to say that’s the least selling. Keep the other three,” she continued.
Soon after, another commenter, ZoZoZu swooped in and educated this misguided woman.
“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 herself snapped a screenshot of the encounter and later posted it on her Instagram page where she praised ZoZoZu for speaking up, and admitted that while she planned to ignore the comment, Bryan decided to show her followers that this ignorance still exists.
“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,” Bryan wrote.
She added, “Hopefully it will help us spread some extra love around.”
And just to be clear: Bryan stressed that Maisha is her second best-selling doll.
In a world where the likes of Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis and Gabrielle Union have been dubbed as the world’s most beautiful women, it’s sad to see folks still stuck in this tired, brown paper bag test mentality.
Last time we checked, all Black is beautiful.
(Photo: Malaville Toys via Instagram)