Desegregating My Daughter's Dollies

Cynthia Dermody
black crochet ballerina doll

Photo by flutterby5429

My children and I are white, but our school system is diverse. Right now, my son's and daughter's best friends are, coincidentally, both Indian children. They have somewhat difficult names to pronounce. I constantly botch the names, but my children pronounce them perfectly and effortlessly.

All this might not seem unusual to you, but to me it's astounding, wonderful.

Diversity was not a part of my original DNA. I grew up in a lily white town with just one black person in my entire high school. I didn't even know Judaism existed until I started college in the "big city" and met a boyfriend. When he told me his religion, and I asked what is that?, he looked at me like I was crazy. It's amazing we dated for two years.

I didn't know any better back then, but now I look at my early years and think: Boooorrrring. Almost as boring as me having to clean up my 5 year old's messy room yet again this very moment.

Hey, now that I'm pondering all this, if my daughter is immersed in all this great diversity, why are all her dolls white? Yup, all her Barbies, all her baby dolls (all strangely naked at the moment, I might add), every one of them fleshy pink and beige. This can't be good. (The lack of diversity, not so much the nudity.)

Might be that she picks the ones that look like herself. Might be that it's mostly friends and family who buy her dolls and those are just the ones they choose or were available at the time. There may be nothing to read into this at all.

But either way it seems I am in the minority. In Answers, most moms said they make sure to buy their daughters dolls of lots of different colors. Wow, I really need to institute some desegregation efforts here. Maybe this calls for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day trip to the toy store, seeing it's right around the corner.

Is your daughter's doll collection diverse or all the same race? Is that good or bad -- or doesn't it make a lick of difference?


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