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Latin America Jamila Dispatch

Jamila Plays with Barbies! (kids' version)

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Rare examples of indigenous dolls Jamila found in a small village
Caption
Even though I am twenty-six years old, I love dolls! I especially like the types of dolls which look like the different types of people who come from all over the world. In the United States, I've seen dolls with all sorts of hair colors and textures, skin colors, sizes and shapes. This is not the case in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Most of the dolls I've seen there don't look like the people who live in those countries at all! In these countries you will find people with skin in all different shades of brown, but the dolls sold in stores have blond hair and light-colored eyes. What's going on here? How will the children feel about how they look themselves if the dolls they buy make them feel that a person must be blond with light-colored eyes to be beautiful?

Doll in shop
A typical doll available in stores
It is important to all people, especially to children, to feel good about how they look. We must see other people and other pictures of people that look like us in order to feel like we belong and look good. If the children in Guatemala only have dolls to play with that have light skin, blond hair and light-colored eyes, they might begin to doubt how they look themselves. I finally saw cloth dolls for sale in Antigua that were made by Mayan women. The dolls were so cute! I wish I could see more dolls like these sold in stores all over Guatemala. Dolls of all colors, shapes and sizes are beautiful and should be available all over the world!

Have you ever felt like you didn't belong? How did you deal with it? Let me know your thoughts. jamilabanks@bigfoot.com

Jamila

Jamila - Jamila Says Goodbye
Jamila - Jamila Plays With Barbies!
Abeja - Historical Headway: Let the Tragic Truth Be Told
Team - CIA Uncovered
Monica - Making a Difference
Abeja - Carrying Jesus
Kavitha - Deep in the Rainforest

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