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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What a Coloring Kit Taught Me About Diversity in Toys

I try to find as many things as possible to keep my oldest entertained while C is at therapy. When my mom was in town, she bought this coloring kit for my oldest, and yesterday, we took it to therapy so she had something to do.

As my oldest stared coloring a picture of a couple ballerinas, she sighed loudly. I looked over at her and noticed a hint of frustration on her face. "What's the problem?" I asked.

"Well, this only has peach color for the ballerina's skin. I wanted the ballerina to have brown skin," she replied. "I will just wait till I get home. The ballerinas can only have blonde hair anyway," she said with a quick roll of her eyes.

I was caught off guard, because the shades of markers in a coloring kit had never really mattered to me growing up. Maybe because there always was a peach color that represented me.

It reminded me of the incident the other week when C picked out a Barbie on clearance while the identical Barbie with lighter skin was full price.

I've been buying toys for 10 years and playing with them for even longer, and if it weren't for my own children and their perceptiveness, I would not notice most of this -- unfortunately.

Our children deserve to be represented in the toys they play with. And while we have come a long way -- a boy American Girl Doll, dolls with disabilities, etc. -- we still have a long way to go.

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