By Tammy Reese | August 24, 2023 | 7:42 pm ET
Representation in toys and dolls is more than just a matter of diversity; it has the power to positively impact children’s self-esteem and promote inclusivity. When children see themselves represented in their toys, they not only feel included and valued, but they also develop a greater appreciation for different cultures and backgrounds. Today, we will explore the powerful impact of representation in toys and dolls and how it fosters open-mindedness and acceptance as children grow older.
The Importance of Representation in Toys
Children’s toys play a significant role in shaping their worldview and sense of identity. When toys reflect the diversity of the world around them, children can see themselves as part of that world. This representation promotes a sense of belonging and self-esteem, which is crucial for their overall development.
The Power of Inclusivity in Dolls
Dolls, in particular, have a profound impact on children’s self-image and understanding of others. By having dolls of different races, ethnicities, and abilities, children learn to appreciate and respect diversity. They understand that everyone deserves to be represented and celebrated, regardless of their background.
The Influence of Toy Diversity on Open-Mindedness
Playing with diverse toys not only enhances children’s empathy and understanding but also promotes open-mindedness. When children are exposed to toys that represent various cultures, they develop a curiosity and eagerness to learn about different traditions, languages, and customs. This curiosity fosters an accepting and inclusive mindset as they navigate the complexities of the world around them.
Shaneisha Dodson: A Trailblazer in Representation
One notable figure who has made a significant impact in the world of representation in toys is Shaneisha Dodson. Dodson, an award-winning playwright and entrepreneur, founded Brilliant Girl and Black Girlz Productions to raise awareness about social issues. She created Sugamama, the first-ever 18-inch Black superhero doll, to address the lack of representation in the toy industry.
The Charitable Impact of Representation
Dodson’s commitment to representation goes beyond product creation. She has donated over 90 dolls to children in need, understanding that every child deserves to have toys that reflect their identity and culture. Dodson’s dedication to increasing representation in toys sets an example for other toy manufacturers and inspires positive change in the industry.
Representation in toys and dolls has a powerful impact on children’s self-esteem, inclusivity, and open-mindedness. By providing children with diverse toys, we can ensure that they feel seen, valued, and respected. The efforts of individuals like Shaneisha Dodson highlight the importance of representation and inspire us to create a more inclusive world for future generations. Together, let us continue to unleash the potential of diversity in toys and dolls.
More on Shaneisha Dodson
The doll’s creator, Shaneisha Dodson is the founder of Brilliant Girl and Black Girlz Productions. She was born in Arkansas and currently resides in Burbank, CA. Dodson earned a BA in psychology from Grambling State University, MA in counseling from Dallas Baptist University, an Ed.S in education from Walden University, and a certificate in women entrepreneurship from Cornell University.
In 2012, she took her love of the arts to the next level and founded Black Girlz Productions, LLC. Her company’s motto is “Dream BIG or go Home!” Her goal is to bring awareness to social issues through theatre. Dodson has written, directed, and independently produced three full-length productions that have toured throughout the United States.
In 2021, Dodson found the Brilliant Girl. She created the first ever 18-inch black superhero doll, Sugamama. Her company’s goal is to bring more representation into the toy industry.
In 2022, Dodson donated over 90 dolls to children in need. She plans to increase this number in 2023.
Follow online: @blkgirlz12
Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media, Tammy Reese is an award-winning writer and journalist best known for landing major interviews with Angela Bassett, Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver, Laurence Fishburne, Geena Davis, Billy Porter, Morris Chestnut, Nelly, Mona Scott Young, Giancarlo Esposito, Luke Evans, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jennifer Connelly, Joseph Sikora, Meagan Good, Leon, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Phylicia Rashad, Omar Epps, Courtney Kemp, Vivica A Fox, Ryan Coogler, and so many more.
She is a proud member of ForbesBLK as well as New York Women in Film and Television.