I think this came from ideas about beauty in kid pop culture, including cartoons, dolls, TV commercials, and movies. Inevitably, the most popular character or on a show or the “most beautiful” doll was blonde haired and blue eyed.
|Good old Barbie. A whole slew of unattainable beauty ideals.|
|Remember Beverly Hills Teens? The most popular girl was blonde and blue-eyed.|
|The Kid Sister doll. Cute = blonde hair and blue eyes|
|I didn’t start reading these books until I was older — but there it is again. Blonde hair and blue eyes = beauty.|
It’s shocking now to think that I accepted this idea – that nothing other than blonde hair and blue eyes could ever be beautiful. After all, I had a lot of non-blondes around me. My neighbors and classmates were from various ethnic backgrounds with brown, black, blonde, grey, and white hair. Most of my family’s close friends were Indian American, and with little exception, their eyes were brown (though the rare light-eyed ones were admired by all of us). But all of the “official” ideas about beauty (to my young mind, TV, books, cute dolls, movies, my friends’ opinions) said blonde hair and blue eyes were what I should covet.
Looking back on all of this as an adult, I realize just how important it is that kid pop culture and society in general embrace broader ideas about beauty. And things have come a long way. But we still have further to go.
Case in point, dolls. They come in more colors now, but most of them have stick-straight, silky hair. And that’s making lots of curly-haired little girls out there think that only straight hair is beautiful.
And some amazing moms out there decided to change that. These brilliant women came up with a way to give dolls “natural” black hair texture. It can also be used to give dolls curly hair. Here’s a link to the tutorial.
|Now doll-makers are telling you that brown skin can be beautiful, but curly hair still can’t be.|
Giving your doll curly hair is as easy as 1-2-3-4. Well, the 1 part is sort of time consuming but worth it when you see the end result. Step 1 – twist the doll’s hair around pipe cleaners. Step 2 – dunk all that hair in boiling water. Step 3 – air dry. Step 4 – untwist the hair. Step 5 (optional) – brush out the hair.
Here is the doll with her “curlers”:
And here is the result:
Love it! What a great way to show kids that that there is more than one definition of beauty.
What do you remember about ideas of beauty from when you were a kid? Where did those ideas come from? How do you think beauty ideals are different today?