It’s Time to Transform the Toy Industry

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#ToyLikeMe is a social media campaign striving to bring diversity to the toy industry, and a British toy company has started production on the new line of dolls with disabilities. How amazing is that!?

According to this article, over 150 million children around the world have disabilities. So why are companies just now starting to make diverse dolls? It’s 2015 – this could’ve (and should’ve) been done decades ago.

For now, the company is producing dolls with hearing aids, walking aids, and facial birthmarks, but says it’s working on making a doll in a wheelchair as well. I did some research online to see where I could buy the dolls, but they come at a hefty price. If you’re interested in buying them, this site has them for sale for about $130.

This line of dolls is definitely a step in the right direction, but toy manufacturers still have a long way to go. Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing accomplishment for #ToyLikeMe! However, there are so many types of dolls companies could market to real-life girls.

For example, all dolls, regardless of race, disabilities, hair color, or gender, are always very thin, attractive, and done up with makeup. When will we start making dolls with different body types and real-life features?

Just think of all the possibilities!

  • Blind dolls with guide dogs
  • Dolls with allergies
  • Diabetic dolls with insulin shots
  • Dolls with missing/extra limbs
  • Burn victim dolls
  • Dolls with alopecia (hair loss)
  • Dolls who need chemotherapy
  • Dolls with oxygen tanks
  • Dolls with a cleft lip/pallet
  • Dolls who need an IV or feeding tube
  • Dolls who are shorter/taller than average
  • Dolls who weigh more/less than average
  • Dolls with big/small feet
  • And the list goes on!

These dolls would be great for children with disabilities or body image issues, but they’d be just as amazing for children without these issues. These dolls could teach children that no one is perfect and we should love ourselves no matter what. It would teach them compassion and acceptance of others even if they’re different from others.

Everyone wants their children to grow up thinking that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, so it’s time to take action! Appearance doesn’t define us.

I wish I had these kind of dolls growing up. I played with tall, blonde, model-like Barbie Dolls throughout my childhood. I’ve always had body image issues, although I can’t say they only came from playing with dolls. However, it certainly would’ve helped my self-esteem if I had dolls who were like real girls.

#ToyLikeMe has inspired me. We really can make a difference, and maybe by the time I have children, there will be more toys like this for them to play with. I can only hope!

What do you think of these disabled dolls? What other features would you like to see in these dolls?

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