When a black woman sets out to create a line of dolls that actually reflect the diverse skin tones and hair textures present among all women of African descent, you’d think no one could find a problem with that. But apparently that would be thinking too highly of human kind.
Mala Bryan is President of Malaville and the creator of The Malaville Debut Collection Dolls which consists of dolls in four skin tones with afro-textured and curly hair. As she states on her website, “I personally am a doll collector and felt the need to create something I felt was missing in my collection.” Sadly, not everyone is as capable of embracing their blackness as Bryan is, based on this sad message she received about the darkest doll in her collection, Maisha.
So this comment was made about my #MaishaDoll. I was thinking about just ignoring it but I’m sharing just so that people realize that our super dark people must still be facing a huge problem. This is just sad. Although I got a compliment at the end, the person had the nerve to talk about her being the least selling when she actually my second best selling. Ugh!
Posting that message isn’t the only thing Bryan did to make a point. Since that time, she’s been celebrating the past six days as Maisha doll week, further demonstrating the beauty of the doll’s dark skin and in turn the real-life women and girls who share her gorgeous complexion.
It didn’t take long for various sites to pick up on what Bryan was doing and celebrate her efforts, and even more support began rolling in for Maisha.
Unfortunately, the original commenter who sparked the controversy is still lost, as evidenced by this additional post below.
#Repost @malavilledolls with @repostapp ・・・ And the response did not get better. 😣 I can only imagine what people like Leslie and Alec go through. I met Alek twice while doing shows with her and she is just one of the sweetest human beings you will find. How can someone have so much hate towards another because of just how they look to them?! I cried when my darkest doll was attacked because of her skin tone so I can really only imagine what actual human beingd of similar skin tones go through. I know I can get very emotional when it comes to my dolls but that's because I learn so much through them and all of this is just another lesson they're teaching. Many times I've asked myself, why would I chose to get into the business of making dolls? And every once in a while that question gets answered. As women we a not always treated as equally as men. As black people, we are made to feel less important the whites. So imagine what it's like being a black woman! Even worse, imagine what it's like being a strong black woman, because it seems like when you come across too strong and confident the trolls come out to TRY to bring you down. This needs to come to an end, and if my role to put an end to it is through my dolls then I will do my very best and that is a promise. I will end this there because my heart is now getting a bit heavy. My sisters I love you and to my black sisters I am sending you some extra love because you need it, we need it. Have a peaceful Sunday and thanks for taking time to read my mini rant. Sincerely, Mala Bryan
Honestly, Bryan said all there was to say about such vitriol and as long as we know women in the world like her exist to combat such self-hatred, we can all rest a little more easily.