The days where little girls don’t have dolls that look like them is over.
While Barbie has started making dolls that reflect actual skin tones and body shapes, companies are going even further and making sure that children with disabilities have dolls that look like them too.
“Every single human being deserves to see somebody who looks like them in movies, books, commercials and toys. Unfortunately, for far too long that has not been the case,” said Lindsay Filcik,
Filcik says not seeing people who look like you represented in media and toys can send a message to a child with a disability that they are “abnormal.”
“That you are not worthy of being shown to the world. Lack of representation also hurts those children who are represented,” Filcik said on Instagram.
“They grow up with the incredibly skewed perception that everybody looks like them. And anybody who doesn’t isn’t ‘normal’ and should be feared. That, my friends, is how racism and ableism can be perpetuated in our kids without us even realizing it.”
Filcik posted a picture of her 2-and-1/2-year-old daughter Ivy who has Down syndrome with a doll that also looks like she has Down syndrome.
That post ended up going viral.
And when you see Ivy with her doll, you’ll understand why.
She absolutely loves this doll and it’s the sweetest thing ever!
Right now, they are calling the doll “baby” until Ivy is old enough to choose a name for the doll.
“You can see just how much she adores her baby,” Filcik told MSNBC.
“And just seeing her eyes light up the first time I gave it to her just brought tears to my eyes.”
Filcik says children of all kinds, not just those with disabilities, deserve to see themselves represented.
“People of all races, abilities, body types, genders, religions, etc. need to be represented in what we watch, read, and play with,” she wrote. “Recently we are seeing steps to remedy this problem in the media and I appreciate that! Representation matters!”
Filcik said a friend sent her a link from a small shop Hello Boho Babe that makes handmade dolls of all different kinds and decided to order a Beloni doll, a line of dolls of all different races and genders that have Down syndrome.
“As soon as I saw her with it I knew I needed to share it as widely as possible so people would be aware,” Filcik said.
Her Instagram post ended up with more than 21,500 likes.
“Several parents of children who don’t have disabilities told me they are adding a doll with a disability to their kids’ Christmas lists,” she told “ Good Morning America .” “They had just never thought of it before.”
Filcik says it’s important to let brands know that you appreciate their efforts to be inclusive or make them aware of changes you’d like to see in their business to be more inclusive.
She also says that inclusive dolls should be purchased for typical able-bodied children as well.
“Let them play with toys that represent all types of humans! Representation matters!” she said
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