College Student Breaks White Doll Stereotype; Boys playing Dolls Normal, Study [VIDEO]By Darren Domirez, UniversityHerald Reporter
Twenty- three-year-old Jennifer Pierre is finishing a master's degree in entrepreneurship at Babson College. She is launching a new line of dolls dedicated for boys of color. There finished products are meant to look like an African American boy, Indian American lad and another is a cute biracial.
She named her toy company Melanites, which is derived from the word melanin, a body pigment that gives skin its color. Her company also aims to become a whole brand that caters to brown boyhood. With this, she expects that a kid who runs through toy store aisle to peak on shelves where he may see himself, AP reported.
To raise $35,000 to manufacture the first dolls, Pierre started taking orders to have the first batch delivered by Christmas. She also eyes putting them on sale online and at specialty stores when the demand gets high, report said.
In the long run, the goal is to wear down the idea that dolls are exclusively for girls. She wants to eradicate gender division in the toy industry, to put down action figures depicting the standard men with big muscles and guns.
She wanted provide children different options because they cannot be what they cannot see. This idea mirrors broader changes in the toy industry, experts say. Companies are blending science lessons into their toys and adding diversity. Hasbro now produces toy guns for girls while Guy Gear offers crafting stuff for boys.
This trend comes with a positive influence. There have been a lot of girl empowerment with diverse girl dolls, it is the time young boys have the same experience, said Ken Seiter, vice president of marketing communications for the New York's Toy Industry Association.
Despite these ancient stereotypes, there are researches that suggest, it is normal for boys to play with dolls. They found out that baby boys refused toy cars or other machines but preferred playing with dolls, a 2013 study at Australia's Western Sydney University said.
He was once against little boys playing with dolls but his mind changes as society has evolved and becomes more open to it, Dawson said.