Justice

This Doll Creator Has the Perfect Response to People Saying Her Dolls Are 'Too Dark'

July 25th 2016

By:
Taylor Bell

Toy creator and model Mala Bryan tries to make dolls that every black girl can relate to. Apparently, not everyone is okay with that.

 

A photo posted by Mala Bryan (@malabryan) on

Bryan, who is known for her collection of Malaville Dolls featuring black women with varying skin tones and back stories, was criticized for creating a doll with "too dark" skin, ESSENCE reports.

In the Youtube comment section below an SABC News video, one person called out Bryan's Maisha Doll, according to the Huffington Post.

"I think that one doll [Maisha doll] is a bit too dark," the commenter said. "That’s like the Sudanese doll. I think its safe to say that’s the least best-selling… Keep the other three and create accessories etc. :) Keep doing what you do sistah.”

In response, another commenter named ZoZoZu came to Bryan's defense and praised the beauty of black skin.

"Hi C. Lincoln. I don't believe that a doll can be too dark...Black, in all shades, is indeed beautiful and that's what Mala Bryan is trying to communicate to the world. Alek Wek, a Sudanese model, is (according to her own words) "as black as the night" and she can be seen on the biggest runways in the world. I don't think it's safe to say that's the least best selling doll."

Bryan posted ZoZoZu's comment along with her own message supporting everyone with darker complexions and calling out the larger societal problem of colorism.

Malaville dolls instagram

"So this comment was made about my #MaishaDoll," Bryan wrote. "I was thinking about just ignoring it but I'm sharing just so that people realize that our super dark people must still be facing a huge problem. This is just sad. Although I got a compliment at the end, the person had the nerve to talk about her being the least selling when she actually my second best selling. Ugh!"

Colorism, the idea that lighter skin is preferable, is still a large problem today.

In a 2015 piece for Everyday Feminism, Michal 'MJ' Jones pointed out that having lighter skin comes with more privileges, often including being considered more beautiful and less threatening.

"We live in a country and world that perceives dark skin as evil, threatening, foreign, exotified, and objectified," Jones wrote. "Because my light skin is associated with whiteness, I am perceived as less threatening, more beautiful or attractive, more educated. I did not and do not need the same warnings as my brothers."

Women with darker skin tones have used social media to fight back against the perceived stigma of their complexion. In 2015, the hashtag #FlexinMyComplexion was tweeted more than 85,000 times in one week all over the world, according to the Telegraph.