It’s tough for a young black girl to grow up around the beauty ideal of “beautiful” blond hair and fair skin. Knowing that they will never measure up to that. Filling them with a lack of self-appreciation and acceptance. Not just black girls but any race that doesn’t look like what they see idolized in magazines and media in general.
It’s a great time in pop culture because there is a revolution that is more appreciating of different skin colours as well as hair types. Even not having hair can be appreciated and seen as beautiful. While this is great for girls who are a bit older – witnessing the revolution on social media it still needs to find life in ways that really matter and to girls who are younger.
Black mothers want their girls to have what they never had. That is for their girls to see themselves in the dolls they play with and the characters they see in movies. Having enjoyed Black Panther to the fullest and seeing it as a positive film to show young children that heroes look like them and have the same colour skin as they do. It’s revolutionary.
More variations and characters are needed that speak to our population. It’s up to local brands and quite frankly future-minded black people to make create much-needed products and narratives that inspire and reflect a huge number of young black girls.
Imagine if from a young age young black girls saw themselves in the dolls they played with, in the movies they watched, how their self-confidence and ability to see themselves in a positive light would impact the decisions they make and the careers they believe they can pursue. It unboxes their possibilities.
As brands like Barbie who inspires young girls to be whatever they wish to be, I think anyone wishing to have the same impact on young girls should also be encouraging self-confidence and a feeling of beauty in girls with darker skin colours. Barbie is still synonymous with blond hair and light skin. While that may be what it is there are local brands that are seeing the opportunity in this.