ATLANTA — Ten-year-old Zoe Oli has always loved dolls, and she always wanted one that looked like her. “Seeing something I played with every day that looks like me made me feel powerful and feeling like I could do anything,” Zoe said.
Zoe’s mom Evana remembers when it first came up. Her daughter was in the first grade. “She came home from school asking me why isn’t her hair straight and pretty like her classmates,” Evana said. She told Zoe her natural hair was even prettier. “One of the things I did was buy her a Black doll. She liked it, but made references that the doll didn’t have hair like hers. The doll’s hair was straight, even though it was a dark-skinned doll,” Evana said.
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So they decided to make their own dolls with black and brown skin, and curly hair. Beautiful Curly Me was launched. It has now been three years, and part of the company’s mission is to give dolls to little girls who otherwise wouldn’t have one, or at least not one they could see themselves in.
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This Christmas, Zoe and her mom are donating 1,000 dolls to charities that will get them to underserved girls all over the metro. “A doll is representative of who you are as a child. A doll is really your standard of beauty. Seeing a doll that looks like me helped me know I am beautiful and I can do anything,” Zoe said.
The Atlanta Children’s Shelter and Atlanta Mission are among several charities that will deliver the dolls in time for Christmas. To learn more about the dolls click here.
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