This natural-haired doll is empowering little girls to love their hair

Just in time for Christmas

WORDS – JACMEEN BUSH

Take a stroll down any toy aisle and you’ll see pretty much the same ol’ same ol’. Cookie cutter dolls with similar hair and features continue to dominate store shelves. Hair stylist and extension guru Mushiya Tshikuka saw an opening in the market and was inspired to create My Natural Doll to celebrate little girls with big hair.

In the doll’s description, she writes,

My Natural Doll was created to give little girls a doll to play with that looks like them. In a world where the dolls we play with and the role models we see shapes our perception of beauty and our self-confidence, it is important that our little girls are constantly exposed to a reflection of themselves — beautiful dark skin and kinky hair like that which grows out of their own head.

The ‘Keleshe’ doll even features virgin human hair extensions, courtesy of Mushiya’s line Runway Curls. Instead of stringy doll hair, girls can style Keleshe’s hair the same way they would their own.

If you want to get a My Natural Doll before Christmas, you’ll have to place your order by 1pm on December 19th.

I remember going to the store, MANY stores actually, looking for a black doll because Christmas was approaching & my girls were old enough to say “Mommy, I want a doll”. I refused for my little gorgeous black girls to have white dolls because I was not in the mood to confuse their confidence. I had worked so hard on it. But every black doll I saw had yarn, straight hair, long synthetic whitish curls or were just BALD. See, my children were born with a head full of kinks. Where was that doll? I went from store to store, Christmas after Christmas, year after year & would simply give up & buy them a book. The black doll in America's biggest doll store, was dressed in slave clothes. She was a former slave. I refused to buy them a doll that didn't look like them or celebrate their greatness & beauty. When friends & family got them little white barbies for birthdays, I would return them. I know it sounds harsh, but I was very in tune with the psychological effects of toys on children's self esteem way before the research proved my thoughts. But as they got older, they demanded dolls more & more. And since I couldn't find their reflection in dolls, I decided to create dolls in their reflection. Hence, the birth of My Natural Doll. She has Dark skin 100% Virgin Kinky hair from the Runway Curls Hair line, that can be twisted, braided & washed just like our own hair. Her name is Keleshe. You are not just buying a toy. You are buying SELF LOVE for your child & changing her life. People tell me that I have accomplished a lot in life for our women & our community. And while I really don't realize it, I will say this. Creating @MyNaturalDoll is one of the proudest accomplishments I will ever achieve in this life for this world. And now, all of your daughters can have a @mynaturaldoll. #mynaturaldoll #blackdoll #blackbarbie #christmasgift #runwaycurls #thedamnsalon #teammushiya #keleshe #naturalhairdoll #BlackFridaySale #mynaturalgirl #naturaldoll #naturalhair #naturalhairdolls

A photo posted by My Natural Doll (@mynaturaldoll) on

You can’t put a price tag on the value of representation. We hope that My Natural Doll inspires brands and fellow creatives to bring more diversity to the toy aisle.

From the Editors at Hello Giggles

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