If you’re on Tumblr, you’ve probably seen a bunch of posts about The Angelica Doll project. If not, check it out. It’s an 18″ doll created to represent a young Black girl with afro-textured hair. The fibre they are using has apparently been tested to be durable for hair play and take a curl. I wonder what they are using? Some kind of nylon?
I do sort of feel like some of the posts commenting on the project kind of expect too much from it, in the way that some people expected a lot from Lammily. Having this doll won’t save kids from feeling bad about the way they look. Encountering people in life that tell them that they would be “so much prettier” if they straightened their hair or were lighter skinned will always have more power than a toy.
That being said, Angelica is still a good idea. A lot of adults say “I wish I had had a toy that looked like me.” Companies are getting better about making more than pale, blue-eyed blondes but afro-textured hair isn’t that common, much less afro-textured hair meant to be STYLED. Angelica definitely fills a gap and if it helps the kids who get her feel better about their natural hair, even a little bit, then it has done some good.
The $85 price tag will make her less affordable but maybe if this doll does well they’ll put out a smaller version? 18″ is a popular size but a 9″ doll would also be more portable. It would half the hair play possibilities but maybe they could still make it work?