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by Evette Dionne

Pretty Brown Girl

Sheri and Corey Crowley relocated to a predominantly-white suburb of Detroit and instantly noticed the impact on their daughters. Aliya and Laila began developing identity-related complexes about their hair, complexions and overall worth. The Crowleys addressed their daughters’ plight by creating the “Pretty Brown Girl” doll.

The parents wanted to enhance their daughters’  self-esteem, but their act of love has evolved into a successful brand, complete with t-shirts, umbrellas and other merchandise. Other parents began donating to Pretty Brown Girl, spawning a movement designed to empower and educate beautiful brown babies about the importance of self-love.

Sheri Crawley was shocked at the flood of love and support her family received. “That’s when we could see the need… there really is no formal platform that exists that addresses skin tone and self-esteem, particularly to girls,” she told Black America Web.

Pretty Brown Girl Movement went from one doll to a General Motors-sponsored International Pretty Brown Girl Day, where 500 girls convened to converse about their complexes and insecurities. It is the first event in a long line of seminars the Crowleys hope to organize.

Sheri hopes this movement transforms what brown girls see when they glance in the mirror. She wants “girls everywhere to know that they were created perfectly in the image of God. And for them to celebrate and love the skin they’re in. …To really understand that she is special and that she doesn’t need to look like anyone but herself. When you’re comfortable in the skin you’re in and you can go throughout your day and feel that power. Power in knowing that and having that self-confidence and self-esteem when you look in the mirror and you see your face that you’re excited about your own reflection and every girl deserves to have that special feeling.”

Visit to purchase a doll or other merchandise.

Pretty Brown Girl Movement from Pretty Brown Girl on Vimeo.

  • Soulfulindustry

    This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this story!

  • Pink Lipstick

    I appreciate seeing some positive stories on Clutch. Can you provide some more business related or social enterprise) related stories on this site?

  • Tony

    Not to be a negative Nellie, but why move to a place where your children are always an other when there are more diverse neighborhoods for upper-middle and middle class families near Detroit? There are a lot of dolls on the market that are pretty close in appearance to their doll for much less money. This story is interesting as juxtaposed against some of the statements in & comments to the White in Philly story.

  • chanela17

    i love this!!! i love how they include all brown girls! hispanic,asian,ect and not just black girls. black women aren’t the only ones feeling bad for having a darker skintone. LOVE IT!

  • Anon

    +”identity-related complex about hair”

    I’m sure all of those girls don’t have naturally straight, silky textured, hair.

  • Kam

    At least I’m not the only one that thought this!

    Other than that, good movement.

  • Co.

    From the time I can remember, I had a perm. (my mother was one of those women lol). I grew up in the south which is extremely racially divided. I hadn’t encountered a white human being (integrated with African Americans) until I was in Kindergarten. I’d eventually became best friends with a caucasian classmate of mine. To this day, unfortunately, I still remember thinking “I wish my hair were as soft as hers”…although I had silky, straight, long hair. Of course, my childhood thoughts are nothing I am proud of… my point is just that,
    even with a perm, children can be taught that their hair just isn’t good enough.
    It is important to make sure the child understand that with natural, straight, curly, whatever have you textured hair… They’re perfect in that being.

  • chike

    am tired of pips complaining about hair and stuff. I think its kinda in trend right now-straightening hair i meant. white pips hair is not always silky and smooth, they do a lot to keep that hair that way. one of these days with hard work ours will make it to that point of being trendy.

  • Nubian Princess

    Please Natural Nazi’s don’t turn the comment section into all post about hair. Please I am begging you.

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