I MATTER! What Brown Dolls Represent To This Dope Mom

It's February and while we celebrate the beauty that is our history all year long it's still extremely important for my family to celebrate Black History Month. Not only do we dive into the impact that our people has made throughout history but we also take this time to celebrate the culture. For me personally, this is a time to reinforce self-love and take pride in being unapologetically black.   

I was fortunate enough to be asked to be apart of Rubens Barn discussion on brown dolls. If you haven't heard of them Rubens Barn is a handmade doll company "with a mission to shape a kinder future though soft cuddles of empathy." Feel free to check out their Instagram here

As a melanin mom raising dope melanin kids it has always been extremely important for me to provide them with images that look like them... and their aunts... and uncles, cousins... and friends. It's known that children learn best during play so being able to provide them with a diverse group of dolls that come in all shades, sizes, both male and female only assist me in my mission to raising well rounded, self-loving, accepting children. We live by the motto different is dope which was birthed from my unique journey through motherhood, raising a son with autism and a gifted daughter. For me, it's not about ONLY providing brown dolls but ALSO providing brown dolls. Inclusivity is the key. We want them to look into their sea of toys, books, and movies and spot images that look like them with ease.

I grew up in a time where there was no black princess in mainstream fairy tales, most black characters were shown as the token black friend and brown dolls weren't so easily accessible. This can easily create a distorted self-image in a young child. There may have been one brown doll created out of an entire line and she wasn't guaranteed to be in stock. She only came in one shade of brown and if she had hair it only came in one texture. My parents had to go out of their way to provide me with dolls that looked like me. No matter how difficult the task they were sure to succeed and for that, I am forever grateful. It meant a lot to me as a brown skin little girl growing up in the 90s to feel included. Now, a mom myself I'm so thankful for companies like Rubens Barn. They provide children with beautifully created inclusive dolls making it a lot easier for me than it was for my mother. 

Do you make it a point to provide brown dolls for your little ones? Feel free to share your thoughts on what brown dolls represent to you below. 


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