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Complete Guide to Afro Mixed Race Black Dolls in the UK

It’s a message that can’t come early enough. Kids as young as 3 notice race, and they quickly become aware that race or colour is given meaning in our world. Princesses, featured in books and movies, our kids’ teachers, role models, ballerinas and royalty. All white and straight haired.

In a 1940s experiment, African-American children given the choice between white and black dolls overwhelmingly chose the white doll and assigned it the more positive character traits. The study has been replicated over the decades with other minority kids and similar results.

black dolls

Two weeks ago one of my children received a doll. With black skin. A beautiful ballet dancer complete with a tutu and pointed toes. My other daughter looked at it and turned her face saying, “I don’t like it”.

I knew why.

We concentrated a lot on my oldest to make sure she grew up with a healthy sense of who she is/ was, where she came from so that she is proud of both the skin colours that make up her being.

We neglected our middle daughter, perhaps thinking it would sink in by osmosis. But, we were wrong. It doesn’t. We’re up against it.

ALL of her teachers are white. Her friends all seem to be white (not that there isn’t a healthy mix of diversity in her classroom but she’s purposely… or not- it’s too early to tell- chosen out her few friends from amongst the bluest eyes and blondest hair).

Despite being surrounded by cousins and grandparents, Aunties and Uncles who are all a dark chocolate complexion. Not to mention her most influential male, her most devoted dad who she is so close to, is brown skinned.

And yet, there it was. Is it a phase that children go through, I wonder? Because she certainly has a healthy circle of diversity surrounding her. Was it to shock us?

Of course I went into a whole tirade of reasons why what she said was unreasonable and unfair and ‘what if someone doesn’t like you because of your skin colour?’ etc etc. My husband told me to relax.

I spoke to her about it later reminding her about all of the people around her who have dark skin. And one by one, she made exceptions. Realising afterwards that she didn’t actually dislike everyone with dark skin.

The fact that she wanted to. That she’s been unconsciously cultivating this preference towards lighter skin is alarming but also scary to think how easy racial bias creeps in.

Experts recommend that parents buy ethnic dolls from birth as one way to surround daughters and sons with positive images from the outset. When introducing a doll later on, you don’t need a big speech about the doll’s ethnicity, though. Just let their imagination run wild.

So here you go. It’s all here, your go-to guide to buying the perfect doll for your mixed race kids. From dolls to figurines to real babies, it’s all here. And the best part? You don’t need to order from across the pond! Click on the picture direct to purchase from a UK retailer.

 

Read more on raising your kids to love the skin they’re in…

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Easy Boy Hairstyles for Mixed Race Curly Hair

So we recently featured easy hairstyles for curly mixed race girls but didn’t dare leave out the boys! There’s not as much readily available for boys to inspire new and creative hairstyles while keeping it simple. So I thought I’d do a bit of research hoping to inspire you.

For more where this came from, visit the Mixed.Up.Mama pinterest page featuring more new and creative hairstyles for curly hair


curly hair cheatsheet
GET YOUR FREE CURLY HAIR CHEATSHEET NOW!

Simple Easy Hair Styles for Curly Mixed Race or Biracial Girls

Simple Easy Curly Mixed Race Hairstyles

So I can admit I’m not one of those Mums who spends a tonne of time on my daughters’ hair. (I don’t spend a tonne of time on my hair either but that’s beside the point).

But with three mixed girls, all approaching the age where they want nice ‘do’s’ and not just the simple pony tail to which I’ve been known to resort, I needed to boost my repertoire.

Short of watching Youtube videos for days on how to cornrow intricate designs into my daughters’ hair, I have scoured the internet to find easy up dos for mixed race or biracial curly haired girls. The below should hopefully be inspiring and easy-ish to get done either the night before or early morning as part of your routine.

A key theme you might notice is that some of these do require the ability to cornrow. I can braid. I’ve even upgraded to french braids. So slowly, slowly… I will soon be able to cornrow.

If you can cornrow already, AMAZING! Keep it up! And if you are learning like me, take these easy do’s as inspiration to keep on trying.

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually tried all of these hair styles but I have tried variations of most and in the interest of sharing ideas, I’d love it if you could feedback on your experience trying any of these.

Visit the Mixed Up Mama Pinterest page for more inspiration!

 


curly hair cheatsheet
GET YOUR FREE CURLY HAIR CHEATSHEET NOW!

What was your advent calendar like this year?

For Christmas this year I wanted my girls to experience a chocolate free advent.  So I began looking around early to see if there were decent alternatives that were equally as exciting for two expectant girls looking for their chocolate fix.

Thankfully, I wasn’t struggling for inspiration. Type advent calendar into google and you come up with all sorts of ideas. From diy-ing it yourself to religious inspired pin ups and more. I was so inspired in fact, I decided to do two. For the visual countdown that both my two year old and four year old can understand, I decided on a Santa’s beard calendar. Each day, they glue on a cotton ball to Santa’s beard marking one more sleep closer to Santa’s arrival.

IMG_6868

Then, to add some meaning to our Christmas and in hopes that the girls understand the Christmas story, we bought them the Playmobile Nativity scene. It doesn’t actually come as an advent calendar so I have been boxing one piece for them everyday to create the scene. This is a real hit and it’s been great to see both of them excited to find what’s waiting for them each morning, then being able to play with the miniatures each day.

nativity

Next year though, I want to incorporate more of the giving part of Christmas than the receiving.  I found this list of 50 acts of kindness for kids at advent on pinterest which is great. It includes ideas like: bake  goodies and give them to your neighbours; write a letter telling your brother/ sister how much you love them and; make a christmas card for your teacher. I intend to add a few of my own and make it personal to my child(ren).

Here is another idea from Thirdculturemama which is also  about exploring advent globally and remembering others across the world.

A friend of mine recently posted a picture of this advent calendar which looks really great. Learning how to say hello around the world! IMG_6866

What were your ideas for advent this year? I’d love to hear from you.

Check out these incredible greeting cards all about mixed girls and goddesses

In just a few short days since launching this blog, I feel absolutely whole again, as if I’ve found what I’m passionate about and can begin creating a community that shares, inspires and grows together. Starting this blog has been life changing and meeting creative minds and supportive friends such as Joanne Stevenson above is only the beginning.

Joanne’s story is inspiring. With two little girls of mixed heritage herself, Joanne quit the corporate ladder to pursue her artistic talent. Her paintings as well as her line of greeting cards are incredible- the reason I’d like to share her website so you too can be inspired!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/jostevensoncreative