As I’m walking through Target with my little sister, the kid somehow manages to convince me to take a trip down the doll aisle. I know the type - brands that preach diversity through displays of nine different variations of white and maybe a black girl if you’re lucky enough. What I instead found as soon as I turned into the aisle were these two boxes.
The girl on the left is Shola, an Afghani girl from Kabul with war-torn eyes. Her biography on the inside flap tells us that “her country has been at war since before she was born”, and all she has left of her family is her older sister. They’re part of a circus, the one source of light in their lives, and they read the Qur’an. She wears a hijab.
The girl on the right is Nahji, a ten-year-old Indian girl from Assam, where “young girls are forced to work and get married at a very early age”. Nahji is smart, admirable, extremely studious. She teaches her fellow girls to believe in themselves. In the left side of her nose, as tradition mandates, she has a piercing. On her right hand is a henna tattoo.
As a Pakistani girl growing up in post-9/11 America, this is so important to me. The closest thing we had to these back in my day were “customizable” American Girl dolls, who were very strictly white or black. My eyes are green, my hair was black, and my skin is brown, and I couldn’t find my reflection in any of those girls. Yet I settled, just like I settled for the terrorist jokes boys would throw at me, like I settled for the butchered pronunciations of names of mine and my friends’ countries. I settled for a white doll, who at least had my eyes if nothing else, and I named her Rabeea and loved her. But I still couldn’t completely connect to her.
My little sister, who had been the one to push me down the aisle in the first place, stopped to stare with me at the girls. And then the words, “Maybe they can be my American Girls,” slipped out of her mouth. This young girl, barely represented in today’s society, finally found a doll that looks like her, that wears the weird headscarf that her grandma does and still manages to look beautiful.
I turned the dolls’ boxes around and snapped a picture of the back of Nahji’s. There are more that I didn’t see in the store; a Belarusian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, a Laotian, a Native American, a Mexican. And more.
These are Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, and while they haven’t yet reached all parts of the world (I think they have yet to come out with an East Asian girl), they need all the support they can get so we can have a beautiful doll for every beautiful young girl, so we can give them what our generation never had.
Please don’t let this die. If you know a young girl, get her one. I know I’m buying Shola and Nahji for my little sister’s next birthday, because she needs a doll with beautiful brown skin like hers, a doll who wears a hijab like our older sister, a doll who wears real henna, not the blue shit white girls get at the beach.
The Hearts 4 Hearts girls are so important. Don’t overlook them. Don’t underestimate them. These can be the future if we let them.
You can read more about the dolls here: http://www.playmatestoys.com/brands/hearts-for-hearts-girls
the worst is having a dream where someone loves you and you can practically feel them touching you and it feels so real and then you wake up and it’s like the life is being sucked out of you and the happiness just drains out of your body and you feel empty again
totally me if i ever had her job
that was wild from start to finish
team i can’t do math for shit but i can write a 3 page english paper in less than an hour
If you’re mad at her, you don’t understand it. White people are trying to remove themselves from all people of color. Let me show you why this is true. You’ve heard of Asian-americans or African Americans or Mexican Americans. But how about a European American? Have you ever heard someone say they’re Canadian American? or European American? Probably not. White people can just call themselves American, even if their ancestry has not been in America for long. If your great-grandparents moved because of the potato famine, you don’t call yourselves Irish American, you have lived your entire life in the United States, you call yourself an American. But now, take someone whose ancestry is linked to some of the first slaves in the colonies, and they still call themselves African-American. Doesn’t matter if they’ve never stepped foot on the continent and share no cultural link, other than pigment, with any society in Africa, they still have to identify with African.
What’s most infuriating is that even people who are the ultimate Americans: Native Americans. They were in the Americas while ass backwards Europe was accusing (and burning) women of being witches. THEY, of all people, shouldn’t have to specify their identity as an American, but NO they have to be labeled with something else.
Raven Symone is an absolute star. She has my total respect for standing up like this, and I hope her so much happiness with her girlfriend. I wish she was still on television, she taught me so much , even if it was all from a disney show
A prairie dog was too fat to get out of his hole
Martin Wittfooth’s intensely allegorical paintings all suggest the future of the human condition — without showing a single person. The Brooklyn-based painter has transcended the illustrative genre and entered into the realm of modern masterworks, using a time-honored painterly tradition that may be painstaking, but reveals incredible depth in both medium and content. His paintings are haunting in that they have a feeling of real possibility. The familiar scenes hint of dystopia and disrepair; their animal subjects are beautiful, but also betray that something in this world is amiss. In light of the long-awaited recognition and acceptance of climate change, Wittfooth’s work has an undercurrent of forewarning about what could happen if humans don’t get our act together. We spoke to the artist about his post-apocalyptic vision, classic style, and the of using animals instead of people as subjects.