Pretty Brown Girl Movement: Changing Girls One Doll At A Time

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She had blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes. She looked nothing like little Aliya and Laila Crowley, who were affectionately called “pretty brown girls” since birth by their father Corey. Still, the then five-year-old and six-year-old sisters and their African American friends wanted her: the pretty white doll.

Shocked and disheartened by what should have been a fun birthday party at an American Girl Doll store, where even if little Aliya and Laila wanted to choose an African American doll, their only option would have been a freed slave. Sheri and Corey Crowley decided that they needed to do something to make their girls and girls around the country see that their brown was beautiful.

However, the incident in the doll store was only a small part of a larger issue the Crowleys were seeing in their daughters. After moving to a predominately white neighborhood outside of Detroit, Sheri began to notice that Laila was beginning to develop identity and self-esteem issues from being the only African American student in her class.

“She started asking me for products that she would see sold on TV, so if it was a Pantene commercial where she would see long blonde hair similar to her table mates,  she would ask me to buy it thinking that it would change her hair,” Sheri explained.

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article courtesy of BlackAmericaWeb.com

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