I learned a new term this week - "woke" - mails in my inbox tell me that I only make cocoa skin tone Smart Dolls to "earn woke points." So I was going to keep schtum today or Smart Doll The Dorama would have prematurely entered its 5th season - Season 5 does not officially start until August.
But going through my feed, @myfroggystuff reminds me that this is not the time to be silent - so folks who have had enough of my ramblings will have to...just. deal. with. it.
@myfroggystuff mentions sharing stories so I would like to share one.
Do you know about the "Doll Test" conducted by Kenneth and Mamie Clark? Do a search on youtube for “Black White Doll Experiment” to see disturbing results of the same experiment carried out since the 1940's. Black kids were shown a black and white doll and were asked "which is the bad doll, which is the nice doll?" Black kids pointed to the black dolls when asked "which is the bad/ugly doll" and when asked why they answered "because he's black." Kids are not born racists - they are taught to be even if it means demeaning themselves.
My parents had a tough time making ends meet so they had little choice but to put me in 3 different foster homes - I grew up with a white, black and Indian family. My upbringing has heavily influenced the choices I make when developing products for Smart Doll.
Creators create because they want to express their beliefs and ideas in their work and that's what you see in my products - from the names and stories behind the dolls, apparel design and skin tones that I choose. When I encounter issues in the real world, I reflect my interpretations in the design philosophy of my products and explain the origin in the product description blurb.
A large percentage of our consumers are kids ranging from the age of 6 and upwards. I want them to know that there is no such thing as a bad or ugly doll, that no doll is better than the other and I hope that I can influence them to create a better world than we did - a world without racism.