Families, Children & Marriage

Multiracial Dolls

So my daughter wants a doll that looks like her for Christmas, and it’s created a bit of turmoil for me.  My husband and I are not particular fans of American Girl for a variety of reasons (i.e. reinforcing racial stereotypes, mass consumerism, price, etc.), but I’d like to get a doll the same size so that we can take advantage of all the ‘stuff’ available for 18″ dolls…

So far, here’s what I’ve found as options:

Karito Kids – Nice dolls, but expensive and 21″

My Twinn – Also expensive, and 24″

Dolls Like Me – has lots of different multiracial dolls

Friends Forever Girls – pictured here – this could be a good option!  18″ – Anyone out there already have one?  How do they hold up?

Anyone know of others?


5 thoughts on “Multiracial Dolls”

  1. I was just back at Wheaton Tuesday night for a Q/A session. I’m glad you enjoyed the chapel message. Students might not recognize my name, but apparently they speak of me as “The Sex Talk Lady”. Oh, dear.

    The last time I was physically in AG Place in Chicago, I was with my daughter, my best friend and her daughter. We were walking through the historical dolls section I blurted out, “Where is the Japanese Internment doll?” My best friend and I had a good laugh.

    I’m not sure where the middle is. When you find it, please blog about its whereabouts. The very fact that we here in America can sit around and discuss the moral pros and cons of buying a doll speaks volumes, never mind the actual cost of said hypothetical doll purchase. It is not an easy call. Just because I choose not to buy the $100 doll or coat or whatever doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve taught my children anything. I’ve found explaining our choices – big and small – in ways that connect with them has gone a long way. And there is the delicate balance of need and want, again a privilege for some of us.


  2. Thanks Kathy – funny – my husband and I were just listening to your address at Wheaton college last night. Good to hear from you – I thoroughly enjoyed your address and have been recently reacquainted with your blog.

    I kind of feel the same way with my daughter – there’s no way she thinks about the implications of a doll nearly as much as we do. Our other issue has become the moral ‘responsibility’ (for lack of a better word) for a $100 doll. My husband comes from a fairly simple background, and it seems very extravagant to him for her to have a doll that costs what some people make in a year. I agree to an extent, but don’t know how to fit this into the American context where we live with American family, etc.

    In a way, it speaks to some cultural differences between us almost more than it speaks about the doll for my daughter. It’s deep stuff, and I’m not sure where to go with it. On one hand, I respect my husband for wanting to protect our children from the unbridled consumerism and materialism of America. On the other hand, I just want my kid to have a nice doll she can play with for a long time. Argh. Where’s the middle?!?


  3. We had the same dilemma back when our daughter played with dolls. We actually went the American Girl route and took the opportunity to deal with the racial stereotypes and limited lens the doll line uses to define “American” as we read through books, etc. My poor daughter, all she wanted to do was dress up her doll. There were few options back then, and even the multiracial dolls played off of some stereotypes as well. In the end, we had to decided that this was a toy for her and we would have to work through our angst carefully.

    I can’t vouch for any of the other doll companies. The AG doll has lasted and is still displayed on a shelf in my almost 13-year-old daughter’s room.

    Lots of luck on this!


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