We are the World Blogfest (#WATWB) focuses on positive stories no matter where they’re found. It is all about spreading peace and humanity on social media.
In the spirit of WATWB, In darkness be the light, today I share the story of Kay Black, who is making diversity visible on dolls–a great way to expose our future generations to a variety of body images.
“Gone are the days of homogenous dolls that all look the same — many of today’s toys reflect the diversity of the population with nearly every skin color, body type and physical feature represented. Now one artist is taking it a step further by creating dolls with the skin pigmentation condition vitiligo.
Although the condition was thrust into the spotlight by Winnie Harlow, a model with vitiligo who appeared on the 21st season of America’s Next Top Model and has since been featured in many fashion campaigns, artist Kay Black says her inspiration came from the people around her.
“I’m motivated by everyday people I see walking up and down the streets,” says Black, who sells the dolls through her brand Kay Customz. Black tells PEOPLE that she started making dolls and earrings as a hobby on top of working an “average job.”
And her fans can’t get enough. “People are literally in tears when they get their dolls,” she tells PEOPLE. “I want to create dolls everyone can relate to.”
One of the characters in my debut crime novel “You Beneath Your Skin“, Maya, has vitiligo. She’s a spunky woman, the head of a detective agency who grows to accept the patches on her skin over the course of the novel–the patches she has been hiding all her life. There’s shame, there’s hiding away, there’s insecurity–a myriad things she must overcome during her journey to confidence.
It is with repeated exposure to diversity that we become sentitised to and respectful of our differences. Vitiligo is simply a result of skin pigmentation, and not anything to be ashamed of–but Maya’s journey towards this acceptance takes a while because in New Delhi, she is unsure how the news of her condition would be received.
What positive stories have you come across of those making a difference through their work? Have you met those with vitiligo? Have you read You Beneath Your Skin? What do you think of Maya?
This post was the latest installment of the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post the last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.
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