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Importance of a doll that’s “Just Like You”: Hijabi Dolls

Sat 30th September 2017

The importance of a doll just like you: hijab dressed dolls

We wanted to share this story that has made the news recently because it conveys the importance of what it means to find a doll that’s just like you. It’s a much hyped subject but here’s a real life view, from someone whose perception of her identity within the community is changed by receiving, in her case, a hijab dressed doll.

‘I noticed that dolls wearing hijabs seem hard to find,’ writes the dollmaker, ‘so I made 25 simple ones. Not being part of the Muslim community myself, I’m not sure who to give them to, but I thought you might’.

With that note the dollmaker left her anonymous gift on the doorstep of this Muslim lady’s home.

Hijabs are the head-covering worn by some Muslim women. When her children returned from school Sheza Hasan sat them down and began telling them about the gift, and kind act; and it was as she was explaining what had happened that she realised what it really meant for her, her children, and their community.

A doll just like you: What it means

What Sheza thinks:

  •  1. Who she is, her identity, her children, her friends and their identities are accepted.
  • 2. Images in the community do not reflect them, and this was recognised by this dollmaker.
  • 3. Mostly when they see something relating to their identity in the media, it is when it is negative. These dolls are abundantly positive.
  • 4. The dollmaker chose to make the dolls with colourful clothes, different skin colours for the dolls, hair under the removable hijab, recognising the uniqueness of people.
  • 5. The dollmaker has gone out of her way to make Sheza and those with her identity feel ‘a part of everything’,  and she feels indebted to this person for this. This reinforces her value and self-worth.

A doll just like you means that you are accepted, valued and that you feel you belong in the community and society.

At My Doll Best Friend you cannot buy hijab-dressed dolls (yet), but you can find a variety of dolls in many of our images and likenesses. We are always looking out for dolls that represent all of us, so if you’re a manufacturer or new brand – and you’ve something we’d like to know about, please stop by and say hello!

If you’d like to see the selection of dolls we have in our shop, click “Dolls ” and then use the filters on the left to narrow down your search. One set of filters includes ‘ethnicity’. In that section there are black dolls, African dolls, Pan-African dolls, Asian dolls, dolls of mixed ethnicity and others.

If we can help you with any information, just let us know!

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For more relating to this feature, see:

CBC News @ramna_s

Huffington Post @isabelle_khoo

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