For far too long the aisles of many major retailers have been stocked with the same white, blonde-haired generic dolls. It is as if when it comes to child’s play, there is a notion that ‘one size fits all,’ and many major manufacturers overlook the importance of diverse cultural and racial representation when it comes to dolls and children’s toys.
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While things have gotten better over recent years, with more and more black women ditching relaxers and weaves and now embracing their natural tresses, it only makes sense that there would be a need for natural-haired dolls to make their way to shelves. And that’s where Yelitsa Jean-Charles, a student at the Rhode Island School of Design and founder of Healthy Roots Dolls, comes in. Healthy Roots Dolls is a toy company that creates dolls and storybooks that will teach young black children about natural hair care and avoiding the temptation of resorting to chemically treating their hair using relaxers or texturizers. “As much as my parents supported me, I still struggled with loving myself, my hair and my skin,” Jean-Charles shared. “I created Healthy Roots so that other girls wouldn't feel that way.”
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