It's a pretty standard piece of knowledge that young children who play with dolls need to see dolls that reflect the incredible diversity of the world itself — dolls featuring different skin colors, facial features, body types, and clothing, just to name a few essential qualities. In fact, studies show that self-esteem and self-image in young girls can be affected by the dolls they play with. That's why two sisters, Laken and Carlissa King, have launched Elle and Cee's World Girls, a new doll company that wants to connect girls around the world to one another. In a word, their dolls are fabulous.
The King sisters subscribe to the philosophy that girls should get a chance to play with dolls that not only look like them, but which also represent different cultures from all over the world. The World Girls dolls follow that philosophy as well, with the three current World Girls including characters with a global reach: Pemberly, an 11-year-old from the United States, never goes anywhere without her notebook; Zari, also 11, is from Barbados and a self-described "explorer"; and Maud, an 11-year-old from Germany, speaks three languages and calls herself a "defender."
Though the concept has been launched, the sisters need to actually get funded in order to get the project rolling. Their Kickstarter, which was launched today, has a goal of $150,000 to create molds and manufacture the dolls. In their Kickstarter video, the sisters make the point that they want children who play with the dolls to not only identify with their looks, but also with their passions and interests — as well as to understand the passions and interests of other dolls who may represent something different.
To achieve this, each doll will come with an ambassador's sweater that will have the Elle and Cee's World Girls Crest and her country's flag on it; the idea is to show her allegiance with her own country as well as with the rest of the world. The girls also come with seven different specific traits to distinguish themselves from one another as well as be an integral piece of a whole community. These traits are: Defender, scholar, rebel, explorer, warrior, innovator, and healer.
While World Girls are the newest diverse dolls to debut in the United States, they are not the only ones on the market. Other examples include Lammily, Pattycake Dolls, My Life as Dolls, and Our Generation Dolls to name a few.
Of course, I think it's really important to learn to interact with people across all cultures and places despite background, ethnicity, ability, and so on, but it's still unclear how many countries and personalities will be represented by the dolls. Of course, to expect every culture and skin color to be captured is unrealistic; however, the sisters will be faced with the challenge of transcending current problems with dolls and creating a new brand that has a healthy, positive impact on young children. It sounds like a worthy goal to me!
You can donate to the Elle and Cee's World Girls Kickstarter here.
Images: Elle and Cee's World Girls (2)