Thanks and respect to my BFF Lauren — my college partner in crime, friend for life, and self-described “Jewbella” always sends me great Afrobella articles and suggestions. And she totally knows about my affectionate obsession with Miss Zahara Marley Jolie Pitt. The beautiful little Ethiopian girl that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie adopted has more personality than both her parents put together, if you ask me. And she’s only three years old!
My amiga Laurencita sent me a link to this interview with Angelina Jolie with the Australian Herald Sun, wherein she discusses her new film The Changeling and the usual topics — life, love, and her ever expanding family. This reply caught my eye:
What about teaching your kids about religion and culture?
I want to teach them about all religions, and I’m trying to find a way to do that. And when it comes to the subject of adoption, like when my daughter, who’s African, wants her hair to look straight like mummy’s . . . and I look for a Barbie that’s African, and the African Barbie has straight hair! And you know, why has Disney never made a film with an African-American princess?
I’m gonna need Angelina to get caught up with Afrobella, mkay? I’ve been looking out for Baby Z and little bellas like her for a while now.
Also, someone might want to let Angelina know that Disney’s first African-American princess movie, The Princess and The Frog, will be released in November 2009. And her name has been changed from Maddy to Princess Tiana. So that’s something to look forward to for next year. And in the meantime in-between time, there’s absolutely no reason to get Baby Z a Barbie or Bratz doll that just reinforces the unbeweaveable standard of beauty for little bellas. There are some afrobella-positive dolls, toys, and accessories to be found. You just gotta look!
A first good port of call is the black dolls list, which mostly features fancy collectors type dolls of the sort that terrified me as a child. But there are some cute ones to be found there, like the
Cecile doll. $31.95, and she’s got awesome hair and style for days.
Wouldn’t you know it, someone’s got a doll named Zahara — but it’s of the lifelike and collectible type that just reminds me of that terrifying Twilight Zone episode with Telly Savalas. My name is Talking Tina! Nooo thanks.
Some African American dolls are beautiful, but not so fun to play with. Take the American Girl’s Addy Walker, a beautiful history lesson who comes complete with a book and accessories for $105. Addy is incredible, but if I was a little bella, I wouldn’t know what to do with her.
I was big into stuffed animal collecting and dolls I could hug and love and brush the hair of. And I’ve always loved Cabbage Patch Kids — their African American dolls are adorable. Like this 25th anniversary baby boy. I grew up in the era when Cabbage Patch Kids were new on the scene and a very big deal, so there’s a nostalgia value for me.
I think BlossomBabies just as cute as Cabbage Patch Kids — these cuddly German-made soft toys are made in Germany and are said to be ideal for kids with allergies. I think Lana is the cutest! She’s $64, and because she’s wearing a satin kimono, she’s described as “more of a cuddling, sleepy-time kind of girl.” That sounds like me! Awww. I might have to get Lana for a special little bella in my life.
If Baby Z is like my niece Dominique, she would love a baby doll like the Little Mommy Yellow Sleeper doll, or the Little Mommy Bedtime Baby, or the Middleton Little Bailey Doll. Too cute. Then there’s the dolls that give your little bella something to do, like the Baby Alive Learns to Potty, Wets N Wiggles, and Fisher Price Baby Gotta Go dolls.
Little bellas who are old enough not to put small objects in their mouths will love My First Dollhouse, an adorable little Fisher Price setup that comes with an African American family living happily inside it.
Older girls might like the Madame Alexander 18″ doll, but I distinctly remember a time in my youth when big dolls were NOT COOL anymore, and I rebelled against them. I wanted to play with little dolls, like the bigger girls did. So Angelina — if you’re reading — you can still get Baby Z the Barbie she craves when she’s of age for Barbies. She can get her Michelle Obama on with Barbie For President.
And if your little bella isn’t the sort who likes to play with dolls, you can reinforce a positive self image with the Whimsical Whitney tee over at Mosaic Mix — Whitney is adorable and described as “fun, bright, and absolutely sure of herself,” just as any little afrobella should be. And I’m bummed this super cute Sephora Girls travel pouch isn’t available anymore — I want one for me!
Have you seen any afrobella-positive gifts for little bellas? What do you plan on getting your little ones for their holiday gifts?