The other day Sugar and I hit up some garage sales. I absolutely love going to garage sales – you never know what you might find! Well Sugar has a new fascination for baby dolls and whenever she sees one her little voice automatically goes on repeat: BABY BABY BABY! One of the garage sales we stopped at had a table full of baby dolls all lined up and Sugar went crazy. I asked her what doll she wanted – they were all $4 so I didn’t care which one she picked. She pointed to the doll with the darkest skin tone and so I handed it to her with full intentions of buying it. The man running the garage sale gave me a look and I knew what it meant – “why are you buying your white baby a black doll??” I didn’t acknowledge the look. Instead I purchased the doll and walked back to our car with Sugar clinging to her new baby doll. And as you can see she absolutely adores it…. yes she is poking it in the eye, but she just learned the word “eyes” and so everyone gets poked there including me, hehe.
Later that day my neighbors were having a garage sale and so we walked on over to hang out with them a little bit. She has a little girl a few months older than Sugar so they like to play together. As we were sitting there Sugar was dragging her new baby doll around and a man that stopped to browse around looked down at Sugar. Then he said “I see you have a colored baby doll there.” Why was that necessary?? I looked at him and said she picked out that doll and she likes it and I left it at that.
I believe that we need to teach our children to be accepting of all skin tones. It’s not what’s on the outside that matters – it’s what’s on the inside. We all bleed red. At Sugar and Dilly’s age I think this awareness begins with things as simple as letting them choose what doll they want. If she wanted the white doll with blonde hair and blue eyes I would have bought that. If she wanted the doll with brown hair and brown eyes I would have bought that. But she wanted the black doll with black hair and so I bought that. And you know what – I am so glad I did.
What is your opinion? I’m not wanting to start a debate, but I would love to hear thoughtful and considerate comments. In our house we have dolls of all skin tones and hair and eye colors… and that’s what works for us.