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With Love from Mom! Woman Creates Black Natural Hair Doll to Help 3 Year Old Daughter’s Self-Esteem

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Angelica Sweeting Natural Hair Doll - Bellanaija - May 2015002

The Angelica Doll

There’s nothing like a mother’s love for her daughter. After finding out her older daughter, Sophia, was struggling with accepting her body image and kinky hair at the age of 3; Miami resident & mom of 2 girls Angelica Sweeting decided she was going to help her daughter.

In a car ride one day she over heard her daughter saying she wanted to look like Barbie and have hair like Elsa from the animation Frozen. According to Today.com – “She wanted to look like Barbie and she wanted hair like Elsa, long blond hair and white skin“. “I was really, really sad that my daughter would think that at such a young age…I knew I had to do something about it.

After the incident Angelica and her husband started practicing daily affirmations with their daughter to help her accept her skin, hair and facial features, and tried getting a doll that was a good representation of this to her daughter; but when she realized there weren’t any, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

Angelica Sweeting Natural Hair Doll - Bellanaija - May 2015

After much preparation and testing, she created the Angelica Doll – an 18-inch doll that features facial detailing and washable kinky hair just like Sophia’s and her other daughter, Sydney’s hair, under her Naturally Perfect Dolls company. According to Angelica – “We created the Angelica doll to help my daughter with self love, so she would always see a positive reflection of herself in the toys that she plays with.” “The Angelica doll has facial features that are true to women of color. She is here to expand our spectrum of beauty and to give little girls more, so they’re able to see that beauty comes in different shades.

In creating the doll, Angelica and her husband took the ideas and final word of their daughters into play so the doll would be the closest thing to a true representation of them and other little girls with kinky hair. She started a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to produce and ship the dolls to help as many girls as possible and they have since doubled their initial target.

Angelica Sweeting Natural Hair Doll - Bellanaija - May 2015001

Angelica Sweeting with her 2 girls – Sydney (2) & Sophia (4)

Angelica is set to produce more dolls as engineers, entrepreneurs and journalists as opposed to the fashion girls and princess dolls out there, after seeing the dolls great impact on her daughter. According to Today.com – “As a mom it makes me feel proud,” Sweeting says. “I love knowing my daughter loves herself and she’s proud of who she is and what she looks like“.

Read more on her story Here.

Photo Source: KickStarter.com

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of BellaNaija.com. Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at)bellanaija.com or style(at)bellanaija.com | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle

24 Comments

  1. munamboa

    May 30, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    since this, you can found this african doll here in france created by a cameroonain; the nubia kemia, a young african entrepreneur!!!

  2. NAms

    May 30, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    great initiative wouldnt buy a white doll for my unborn child , i encounter something similar once didnt know what to give a niece for her first communion so i called her lil brother aged 5 and told him im getting a black doll for your sis will she like it, lmao the boy looked at me silly and burst into laughter and said (who plays with those does it even exist? dad always get her white dolls cuz thats how its supposed to be….. black doll loooooool dont fool me joor) i was speechless but the boy made a serious point some parents take these things very slightly the mistake comes from them

  3. spicy

    May 30, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I think this is really commendable….however I’m sorry but I don’t see the dolls hair as a true representation of afro kinky hair, doesn’t even look that similar to her little girls’ hair. Pardon me but I think if you are going to do it, you might as well go all out and not conform a little bit as that defeats the purpose….and saying she was unable to find black dolls with afro hair na lie, even in this our small London, my God daughter only has black dolls with very African hair and features not to speak of a whole USA….anyways my opinion, don’t bite me

    • mkm

      May 31, 2015 at 3:31 am

      my sentiment.

    • Ms.Chiefe

      May 31, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Yea, the dolls hair wasn’t all that realistic, especially when you know that black women with natural hair have been trying for years to achieve length like that

  4. adeleye oluwatosin

    May 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    D dolls r cool nd these cuties r beautiful

  5. natu

    May 30, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    This is so adorable. Maybe this will help little black girls and women to embrace their ethnic features. #blackgirlsrock #beautycomesinallshades

  6. Phoenix

    May 30, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Now thats what am talking ’bout.

  7. Girlbeingreal

    May 30, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Really good. The idea of what beauty looks like is being pushed to us by the media. Parents need to help young kids see themselves as beautiful

  8. Ms.b

    May 30, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    But this is not a first. I’ve seen black dolls with afros

  9. Ade

    May 30, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    GOD bless you and your family richly.

  10. chi-e-z

    May 30, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    How about instead of a doll make the girls get legos, toy computers, toy planes, something to promote science and technology for girls. I feel weird cause I never really had dolls so I won’t even bother with that if I have girls I’m trying to create bill gates and steve jobs not Mary kate or honey booboo

    • mrs chidukane

      May 30, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      Mary Kate Olsen is a respected business woman. Their fashion line is quite profitable and as such I think any parent would be proud of her. Everyone mustn’t be a techie.

    • Ms.Chiefe

      May 31, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Since when did it become necessary to make every child a future Bill Gates? People are diverse in interests and backgrounds. They’re games for girls that challenge female stereotypes like Goldieblox and still use dolls and pictures and ‘girlie’ colours.

      Open kids minds, don’t narrow them

  11. Dele

    May 30, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    I sincerely fail to see the connection between a doll and a childs self esteem. It is merely an object to play with and discard in due course. If a child is brought up well and has a sound education, do you not agree that child will laugh at anyone who tries to tell them their image/self esteem is linked to a doll?. Its a toy for goodness sake, yes, its good to have choice for representation/choice etc., but I think it is ridiculous to suggest a connection otherwise.

    • Idomagirl

      May 31, 2015 at 6:09 am

      It’s not ridiculous when little girls like the one in this story (did you even read it?) want to look like Barbie. There’s research out there on this, it’s not in anyway ridiculous.

    • Ms.Chiefe

      May 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      Obviously, the article link where the original story wasn’t read.
      If we believed that things such as dolls don’t have an impact, however small, then look at the thousands of women who believe sewing hair from other cultures onto theirs.
      Where do you think the accepted standards of beauty began?

      Small doses of poison those tend to build up

  12. Lois

    May 31, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I personally do not like to buy my female children dolls because I have realized some children are so sensitive and become hooked to the doll’s idea of beauty. I prefer stuffed animals and other and teddys I am most thankful for the TV Show called Dr. McStuffins that had helped redirect and expand my little girls concept of beauty. She loved Rapunzel, Princess Sofia and their hair and once asked me why mummies can have those character’s types of hair and children can’t. (Of cause Weaves she meant). Once she started seeing Dr. McStuffins cartoons especially the Hair episode. She understood that different people has different looks and children are all special in their own ways. I wish the doll had the really kinky hair Africans have like the ones we see around in stores.

  13. Temii

    May 31, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Oh my, this is beautiful! And the girls….:* The idea totally rocks!

  14. Dele

    May 31, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Of course i read the article, I wouldnt comment otherwise. You should perhaps re read my comment. Why should any child want to look like Barbie? I have 3 children. 2 girls and a boy.. Barbies have come and gone.. Currently, its Elsa with my youngest, again its a plaything, and in my experience discarded along with other toys when they out grow them. My eldest subjected us to endless tea parties with her Barbies.. Not once, did she now 13, or my 3 year old express a desire to look like them! There are numerous dolls available.. Again, i repeat instill values in your child, praise them, love them, discipline them.. they will not want to resemble a darn doll!! I repeat it is ridiculous, what next? they will always be looking for something or someone to resemble? nonsense and ingredients!

  15. observer

    May 31, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    It is not ridiculous oh. My 4yr old daughter moans about not having long hair like princess elsa and co. She now wears a dress on her head cos i think it feels long and flowing, she’s even wearing one right now as we speak. I just hope she outgrows it sha

  16. Joke

    May 31, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    This inferiority complex is much bigger than dolls. Saying she couldn’t find dolls that look like the one she created doesn’t sound credible at all. I am in the US and you can find them. However, the problem is much bigger and unfortunately those girls are just beginning to see reality. Soon, they will be teenagers and start experiencing being rejected by their potential black teen boy partners who ignore them and chase after Caucasian, biracial and Latina girls, then the real heart break begins…It’s such a shame, but it’s the way it is.

  17. Emerald

    May 31, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    I have a 2 year old sweet girl and I’ve avoided dolls knowing how difficult it is to get black dolls. Until her Uncle bought her the usual doll (white skin, blond hair etc). I allowed her to play with it just that day and threw the poor thing away in the evening! I spent the whole of that evening browsing eBay and Amazon until I came across one, kinky hair and all. Currently back home for good so had to use a friend’s address as delivery and the lady was horrified with the doll, wondering why i will go through all that stress without failing to point out how the white ones are better looking bla bla. Mental Slavery. Won’t let my girl go through all those things we took for granted which ended up playing so much role in this wide-spread of self hate of our gorgeous skin and all that it comes with. Kudos to this Mum. One black child at a time!

  18. Laura

    June 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Find this really funny, what happens when she outgrows the doll. Just speak to her, and let her know how gorgeous she is, thats all

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