In a recent survey, 47% of African American girls preferred light skinned over dark skinned dolls. In light of this disturbing fact, I wrote an article for San Diego Family Magazine about trends in attitudes regarding race in the United States (to view "Which Doll is Prettier," visit http://www.sandiegofamily.com/, click on the July issue, and go to page 76).
In the course of my research for "Which Doll is Prettier," I had the fortune to interview Leonard Simonian, president for Only Hearts Club, a toy company that produces a multi ethnic assortment of dolls, similar to Barbie, minus the sex pot image. Simonian, father of three, decided that girls, including his own, deserved to play with fun dolls that helped to develop a positive self image. Only Hearts Club dolls look and dress like real girls, and each has a hobby, such as horse riding, soccer or dance.
Like American Girls, each Only Hearts Club doll also has a story book that describes her life, friends, hobbies, and defines her moral character by putting her in a situation where she has to make tough choices. What could be better than giving kids another motivation to read? My girls loved reading the American Girls series, but the dolls were big and expensive, so they never made it to the toy box.
Only Hearts Club offers an entire wardrobe of darling clothes for the funloving dolls to wear as well as a bunch of other accessories. Reasonably priced, the Only Hearts Club line is available for purchase on line, at most Target and other select toy stores. For more information visit www.onlyheartsclub.com.
I wish Only Hearts Club had been around when my daughters, now in their teens, liked to play with dolls.