As I’m walking through Target with my little sister, the kid somehow manages to convince me to take a trip down the doll aisle. I know the type - brands that preach diversity through displays of nine different variations of white and maybe a black girl if you’re lucky enough. What I instead found as soon as I turned into the aisle were these two boxes.
The girl on the left is Shola, an Afghani girl from Kabul with war-torn eyes. Her biography on the inside flap tells us that “her country has been at war since before she was born”, and all she has left of her family is her older sister. They’re part of a circus, the one source of light in their lives, and they read the Qur’an. She wears a hijab.
The girl on the right is Nahji, a ten-year-old Indian girl from Assam, where “young girls are forced to work and get married at a very early age”. Nahji is smart, admirable, extremely studious. She teaches her fellow girls to believe in themselves. In the left side of her nose, as tradition mandates, she has a piercing. On her right hand is a henna tattoo.
As a Pakistani girl growing up in post-9/11 America, this is so important to me. The closest thing we had to these back in my day were “customizable” American Girl dolls, who were very strictly white or black. My eyes are green, my hair was black, and my skin is brown, and I couldn’t find my reflection in any of those girls. Yet I settled, just like I settled for the terrorist jokes boys would throw at me, like I settled for the butchered pronunciations of names of mine and my friends’ countries. I settled for a white doll, who at least had my eyes if nothing else, and I named her Rabeea and loved her. But I still couldn’t completely connect to her.
My little sister, who had been the one to push me down the aisle in the first place, stopped to stare with me at the girls. And then the words, “Maybe they can be my American Girls,” slipped out of her mouth. This young girl, barely represented in today’s society, finally found a doll that looks like her, that wears the weird headscarf that her grandma does and still manages to look beautiful.
I turned the dolls’ boxes around and snapped a picture of the back of Nahji’s. There are more that I didn’t see in the store; a Belarusian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, a Laotian, a Native American, a Mexican. And more.
These are Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, and while they haven’t yet reached all parts of the world (I think they have yet to come out with an East Asian girl), they need all the support they can get so we can have a beautiful doll for every beautiful young girl, so we can give them what our generation never had.
Please don’t let this die. If you know a young girl, get her one. I know I’m buying Shola and Nahji for my little sister’s next birthday, because she needs a doll with beautiful brown skin like hers, a doll who wears a hijab like our older sister, a doll who wears real henna, not the blue shit white girls get at the beach.
The Hearts 4 Hearts girls are so important. Don’t overlook them. Don’t underestimate them. These can be the future if we let them.
You can read more about the dolls here: http://www.playmatestoys.com/brands/hearts-for-hearts-girls
*runs to target- i need to get my babydoll one for her 1st bday
ohmygosh and the one from Ethiopia has natural hair which you can’t get from the American Girl “just like you” dolls!
The real moral of The Nightmare Before Christmas is don’t sell Christmas stuff before Halloween cause it upsets the balance of the universe
self diagnosing is so hard because everytime you’re like “maybe I am mentally ill” theres also a big part of you going “nah you’re probably just a naturally lazy/nasty/disgusting/useless person trying to find an excuse for your behavior” because of the institutionalized ableism that runs through everything
There’s just so much to love in this film. For me, though, it really feels like the anti-Disney film. In the best possible way, I mean. Because where Frozen used parts of native cultures appropriatively, with no reference to the origin and meaning of those cultural symbols, Book of Life is completely steeped in its culture. It’s not a movie with some Mexican stuff thrown in for the sake of “political correctness” nor is it a film shamelessly ripping off indigenous culture. It’s a film by Mexicans for everyone about Mexican culture.
Heck, in the beginning few minutes of the movie the narrator actually says, “Now, as we all know, Mexico is the center of the world.” And she is neither kidding, nor being intentionally ironic. She’s just stating a fact. Mexico is the center of the world. And, yeah. This is a Mexican folktale, so Mexico in this story is the center of the world. That’s a given.
It pretty much highlights the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural sharing. Because this is a movie made for a predominantly non-Hispanic audience (hence why they’re always explaining everything), but it’s made with love. As a sort of, “Here’s what we love about our culture. You are free and welcome to love it too.” And I want more of that in the world. That’s a great thing. It’s not about us coming in and taking anyone’s culture, it’s about them deciding to share it. Who doesn’t want more of that?
relationship status: kingdom hearts
when somebody joins tumblr
I know how you feel Phil
once you put your homestuck goggles on they kind of weld themselves to your face
it could be like 20 yrs since youve read homestuck but all the zodiacs are still going to have a designated color in your mind and if anyone ever says ‘were doing this’ u kno ur gonna say/think ‘were making this happen’ bc once ur homestuck trash youre trash4lyfe
fuck this is accurate