As children's worldview is developed at a very young age, an inclusivity in the toy industry can prove to be beneficial.
Inclusivity in children's toys is extremely important as they often influence how they view the world. Although the toy industry has traditionally focused on unrealistic beauty standards and gender stereotypes, it has gradually progressed through the last decade. A recent example is two photographers from CreativeSoul Photography who are trying to uplift the beauty of black girls, as per My Modern Met. Regis and Kahran Bethencourt have been popularly known for focusing on the beauty of black women and girls, which has influenced a huge section of society. Now, a series of their photographs are being turned into dolls as a part of their collaboration with Disney.
Through a variety of lenses, The CreativeSoul Doll Collection reimagines what a traditional Disney Princess might look like. Kahran told the outlet, "The dolls contain natural hairstyles and intricate Afrocentric fabrics and adornments while paying tribute to four Disney Princesses—Tiana, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Cinderella." In order to produce a series that is both spectacular and distinctive, the duo used their trademark bright colors and reworked conventional haircuts and clothing. After seeing CreativeSoul's popular Princess Series, Disney and CreativeSoul decided to collaborate. The couple had worked on photos of girls envisioned as Black princesses for it with makeup artist and hairdresser LaChanda Gaston.
Disney was inspired by their photos and contacted the couple to create a collection of dolls. Kahran added, "CreativeSoul was involved throughout the entire process of photographing the dolls to helping to select fabrics, molds, skin tones, hair textures and accessories." It is crucial to have representation, especially in toys, since it helps people feel acknowledged by the objects they value. The couple explained, "The hope for the collaboration is to provide more representation and inclusivity. We hope to positively impact the self-esteem and confidence of kids of color around the world by giving them dolls that reflect their own unique beauty. Additionally, we hope that the dolls will also educate and raise awareness about the importance of diversity and representation in media and toys."
Starting on February 3, 2023, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort as well as the shopDisney website, will all sell the CreativeSoul Doll Collection. The models who served as the inspiration for the dolls will also be included in a collection of five picture prints, one of which will be a special dedication to Elsa.
In another inclusive moment for the toy industry, the Barbie doll company announced that they were introducing its first doll with scoliosis. According to Mayo Clinic, "Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents." According to Skynews, the toy maker will launch a new line for Chelsea, Barbie's younger sister, that will have a removable back brace and a spine curvature. The company hopes to mainstream the equipment and promote inclusivity among kids by doing this.
Dr. Luke Macyszyn, a board-certified neurosurgeon and expert in children's complicated spinal problems, assisted the dolls' creators while working closely with the toy manufacturer Mattel. The 15cm doll reportedly features brown hair done in waves, a detachable green back brace, white shoes and pink clothing.