What This Doll Means to Children
Healthy Roots Dolls is a toy company that creates dolls and storybooks that empower young girls and represent the beauty of our diversity. Our first doll Zoe has many curlfriends nationwide and loves them all.
One of Zoe’s curlfriends is Kharis, aka KK. This five-year-old melted the hearts of thousands on social media with her emotions and expressions when she met Zoe. We got the chance to speak with Kharis, her mother, and grandmother to see how her new friendship with Zoe is changing her life.
How did you feel when you first met Zoe?
Kharis said she felt “good” when she first met Zoe. Kharis’s grandmother told us how she gave Kharis a picture of Zoe before Zoe arrived, and Kharis fell in love. She said, “You would’ve thought I gave her the doll.”
Kharis proceeds to tell us about her two black dolls, Zoe and Sheila. She explained that “Zoe is her favorite because Zoe has brown skin.”
What role does Zoe play in your child’s life?
Kharis’s mother, Christiana, explained how Kharis would ask why her hair wasn’t straight or a different color due to the diversity in people around them. Christiana states, “we’re a brown skin family, so it wasn't easy to explain to her being around different color skin people...But now she has a Zoe who has the same texture and skin color, and she can do her hair and dress her like herself.”
How does playing with black dolls help your child?
Kharis’s grandmother explains how there has “never been a doll like this one.” The entire family loves Zoe. They explained how playing with black dolls boosts her confidence and her self-love. Her mother explains how playing with black dolls leads to her “loving herself as a brown skin girl instead of wanting to be like another.”
What do you like to do with Zoe?
Zoe is a girl’s best friend. Kharis said, “I like to change her clothes, sleep with her at night, play tea parties, and play barbie dream house with her.” Zoe is there every step of the way 😊
Do you believe that representation in the media and toys matter? Why or why not?
The whole family agrees that representation matters. They explained how finding a doll that looks like them is essential. How brown girls never had toys that look like them, which leads to children having low-self esteem. But her mother explains how “it does something for you as a person when you have something that represents you.” Her grandmother also said, “it helps our girls grow up knowing who they are and loving who they are.”
Kharis’s mother concludes by telling us, “you don't have to explain to them about loving themself. When you have a doll that looks like you, you do not question why that doll or person does not look like you. It's great when a parent can see a child loving”.
Representation leads to self-love. That’s the mission of Healthy Roots Dolls, to bring the beauty of our reality to toys. So children can grow up seeing themselves, loving themselves and their curls.
We’re excited that Kharis’s life changed after she and Zoe became friends. This could be you too. Click here to learn more about Zoe and sign up for our newsletter below to get all the new Healthy Roots Dolls updates.