|More diversity in a group of three modern dolls than in some people's collections of thirty-plus.|
And somehow, in those twenty-five dolls, I've managed to have a gang of girls that has more diversity than most collections I saw on boards before my unfortunate bannings. Hell, I had a diverse collection back when I only had a max of six dolls by year's end. And yet some people either can't or won't figure out a decent diversity to their collection, and it really drives me up the damn wall.
I realize that to some people, all dolls look alike. And a lot of the AG dolls do look alike, as there have only been eight face molds across a whole gaggle of dolls. Still, there is something grossly unnerving about seeing a so called "diverse" collection of more than ten or more dolls which is full of pale skinned Classic Mold1 faces. There might be an Addy, Josefina, Kaya, Cécile, or Ivy if they're a historical person; modern girl # 26 (who is Ambiguously Brown), #4 (who was the token Asian before she was discontinued), or Kanani, Jess, Sonali, and/or Marisol because they're LE but only one of them. It can get even creepier, when all the white girls are blond and/or blue eyed. It screams out "I am a White person, in a majority White Fandom, and the idea of a doll browner than undercooked oatmeal makes me nervous. Blonds are best! White girls or no one!"
|The average diversity of most AG collections. And collectors.|
Now I started with Addy, who had to hold down the Black Peoples Historical Fort from 1993 to 2011 until Cécile came about. By the end of 2006, I had six dolls--and less than half were white dolls.
|This was the 2006 Giftmas Gang--and still more diverse than most collections are now.|
However, before I see the common justification of people just sticking to what is comfortable and white people just being the majority in society and people sticking to what's easy, let me point out something. In this day and age, we still have young girls of color who think that white dolls are better, or white people are better, and who don't love themselves or see themselves reflected in society. There are children who have only been given white dolls. Same with white girls, whose parents discourage brown dolls. We live in a racially unequal society still, and this shit does not happen in a vacuum. A fully white mapped collection with only spots of color isn't just out of casual preference. It is a reflection of the racial inequality in the world. Yes, even in something as small as the dolls people pick and show and buy. I at least commend AG on showing their dolls in stores in varying outfits, but when I see a gaggle of white dolls online as someone's collection, I sort of bristle.It just shows another aspect of society claiming diversity and then not having the actions to back it up.
Then there's the nasty aspect that more than an "acceptable" number of a social minority is overwhelming. Much like in a group of equal men and women, men feel outnumbered? An equal balance of whites and PoC makes whites feel outnumbered, like there's too many brown folk around. (Note the freak outs that white people are having feeling outnumbered in states like Texas, now that 38% of the population ID as Latino.) I once saw a collector--who luckily I've had the joy of not seeing in years--who said that the brown dolls offered were more than enough, and that adding any more would be forced diversity--and furthermore, the line needed to be balanced out with all the variations of blond, because that was true diversity.
I may have seen fire.
I wish white girls and white adults would stop being scared by brown dolls, or only having tokens in collections. Stop having just white girls in your groups. Go out and add a brown girl to the line up that isn't an LE, and treat her right. However, don't be racist. That never helps at all.
But that's another Complaint Department. Only one topic at a time.
1 The Classic Mold is the first one AG ever came out with; it pretty much maps as white girl, though there have been medium variants. Naomi and Felicity up there are Classic Molds.
2 Kanani around here is not half white. I have a lot to say about that next time.