Where was this when we were growing up?
By Taryn Finley
Yelitsa Jean-Charles said she cried when a relative gave her a black Barbie when she was a little girl. “This isn’t the real Barbie,” she remembers thinking, upset that the doll wasn’t white. “This isn’t the pretty one.”
She didn’t truly embrace her beautiful features until she went to college at a predominantly white school, ironically. After heat-damaging her hair and getting advice from a friend, she said she “felt crazy that [she] didn’t know [her] own hair texture.” Understanding the extent to which black people — hair included – are misrepresented and underrepresented in mainstream media, Jean-Charles says she realized “how that can impact people [be]cause the toys we play with at a young age influence how we think, act and see ourselves whether we know it or not.”
The 21-year-old from Queens, New York now proudly rocks her natural hair. She loves her tresses so much she launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to create a new line of natural-hair dolls she hopes will help empower girls of color. [Continue reading article at Huffingtonpost.]