Let's establish the basis here:
My girls love American Girl Dolls.
They have all different skin tones of dolls and they love each one.
Now, I really appreciate that we are in a world where they are now making dolls of all ethnicities, skin tones and hair types. (We have yet to own a doll with afro hair like my daughters do.) But I love the fact that they are even just in existence now.
You can see Samaria's aftrotastic hair here.
And Makkedah's gorgeous poof here.
I love that there are so many different kinds of dolls out there. And I understand and appreciate the importance of them. For girls to be able to have and relate to a doll that actually looks like them is so great for self-worth and self-love. It's such a beautiful thing!
I also know that I've had a few comments in the past as to why my daughters sometimes really love the blonde hair, blue-eyed dolls.
Let me preface again with saying that they love and have all different skin-toned dolls. They play with them all. Although they acknowledge and appreciate the different colors, it doesn't determine how much they like them each.
And sometimes, they really are drawn to the light-skinned blonde dolls. I have no idea why.
Okay, maybe it's because their awesome mom is light-skinned, blue eyes with blonde hair. But that is just a guess. ;)
But, it's not this intentional "I want the WHITE doll" concept. It's so much bigger than that. Because sometimes they want the BLACK doll. And sometimes its the mixed doll that looks like them. And sometimes its the Asian doll. And Makkedah's next doll she is determined to get is the Native American Girl Doll, Kaya.
And maybe I have to attribute that to the fact that we are very purposeful in putting our children in very diverse communities and environments. They are surrounded by all different ethnicities and colors in their every day life and so, that is their normal. So for them to have all different colored dolls = totally normal.
Now as I reflect on my daughters' love for a colorful collection of dolls, I am reminded of my own childhood.
I grew up in a small country town a little south of St. Cloud, Minnesota. It was pretty much only white people in the town and at our church and that was my only surrounding and environment.
But when I think back to my childhood and my favorite dolls/barbies to play with, I always wanted to play with the black dolls. Whether it was barbies, dolls, polly pockets, you name it, you would always find me with the dark-skinned ones in hand. They were always my favorite. I was drawn to them. I literally cannot explain it. I do not think there were really any other races in our small town and yet, there was this pull and love in my very core to play with all the little black dolls. I didn't want the little light-skinned dolls with blonde hair that looked like me. Or my sisters. Or my mom. I wanted the dark-skinned dolls.
I asked my mom if she remembers if this was something I expressed to her or if she just started noticing it and so she began buying me the specific black dolls she knew I would love. She said that she just started seeing me always playing with the dark-skinned dolls and realized that was my preference in the dolls I loved the most.
I would love to know the science behind this. Or how nature and nurture plays into this. I would love know WHY, as a little white girl in a small country town, I had this love for a doll that looked nothing like me. I didn't need or want the white dolls with white skin and blonde hair and blue eyes. I didn't really care as much for those dolls. And I can't explain why. And unlike my daughters who love any and all dolls regardless of the color of their skin or hair, I had a preference as a little girl.
And because of this, I'm really okay with any dolls that my daughters love best. Whether they love the dark-skinned dolls or the light-skinned dolls or the medium-skinned dolls best, because their example of being human and becoming women is not in their doll but in their mother and in their father and how he loves their mom and provides for them. Their examples are in our family unit and how Christ is the center and focus of it all. Their example is Jesus. And wonderful women in the Bible. And inspirational women in history. No matter the color of their skin, their heroes and role models can come in any shape, size, or color.
So, play on girls. With the black doll. With the white doll. With the native American doll. And find your identity in Jesus and not in the doll. And enjoy exactly how He made you. Beautiful skin tone. Lovely hair and shining smiles. Just as you are.