Dolls that make a dif­fer­ence

CityPress - - Trend­ing - Binwe.ade­bayo@city­

The think­ing be­hind this, and the Toy Like Me so­cial-me­dia cam­paign, was to en­cour­age kids to em­brace their dif­fer­ences and be able to see them­selves re­flected as nor­mal. In the world where blonde, blue-eyed, skinny dolls are the stan­dard, no such prod­ucts have been made avail­able be­fore.

While some of the dif­fer­ences on the dolls are quite ob­vi­ous, such as ones that are in wheel­chairs or wear hear­ing aids, oth­ers are more sub­tle. One doll fea­tures a large, red birth­mark on her face, a fea­ture that of­ten re­sults in teas­ing among kids at school.

Ac­cord­ing to a press state­ment by Makies, the com­pany hopes “more pos­i­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion of chil­dren through their toys will help make our so­ci­ety more in­clu­sive, and kids with

JUST LIKE ME dis­abil­i­ties will stop try­ing to fol­low im­pos­si­ble and un­nat­u­ral ‘beauty stan­dards’”.

Some crit­ics of the cam­paign ar­gue that dis­abil­i­ties don’t ex­ist in iso­la­tion, and have asked why there are no black or male dolls. Makies has re­sponded by al­low­ing users to re­quest cus­tomised dolls that best re­flect their child.

This is fan­tas­tic, and pushes us fur­ther to­wards more di­verse toys that don’t other large sec­tions of so­ci­ety.

The dolls are not avail­able in South African stores, but you can or­der them

on­line at my­

Toy maker Makies has cre­ated a line of toys for chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties and dif­fer­ent bod­ies

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