A mom from Australia has sparked an online debate about representation on TikTok. The user, @jeanchronicles, shared footage of three newborn dolls made by Miniland Dolls, one Black, one brown, and one white. This doll company states pride in creating “anatomically correct” dolls to promote inclusivity of “any race, gender or condition”. But in the mom’s video caption, she commented on the Black doll, saying, “It’s the exaggerated nose, forehead, and mouth for me.” By comparison, the white and brown dolls have less pronounced features.
Mom Criticizes “Exaggerated” Features on a Black Baby Doll
The mom, who identified herself as “African” later clarified the point of her video. “There is nothing WRONG with the features, but these are adult features on a newborn! If that was the intention, shouldn’t all the dolls have been made with features they grow into? The Black one is cute, sure y’all made them. And I’m sure no African had any input in this. This is how YOU see US, not the reality of Black newborns!”
She has stated that representation is important, but it’s equally important how people are represented. “If you’re Black and have a newborn that looks like this please show us, it will shoot this debate down real quick! Nobody said we want them to be eurocentric. But that hairline, what genetic trait has our hairline starting halfway behind our forehead?”
She added, “If you’re black and have these features, that’s beautiful. I would gladly buy a Barbie with these features, but this is a newborn hence why it’s naked! For those saying we shouldn’t complain and be grateful we are represented, well these are African dolls and I’m African.” 
@jeanchronicles Pt 2 So I went to Kmart and found some really cute Black dolls 🥰It’s not just about representation it’s equally important HOW we are presented!! #fyp #diversedolls #kmartaustralia ♬ NOTHING – Westover
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The comments on the mom’s original video seemed mixed. One said, “I mean it’s sort of accurate for a teen or an adult to have these features but not proportional whatsoever for a baby”. Another wrote. “I’m very uncomfortable with those dolls.”
However, some didn’t see any issue with the toy’s features. “What really bothers me is some of y’all be making fun of the first doll when in reality there are people who look like that. And they’re beautiful,” said one. Another added, “I don’t really see the problem? My daughter actually had pretty similar features when she was born. At least they’re giving options.”
A Collection with Inclusivity and Diversity
A Miniland spokesperson explained that the company prides itself on working with and representing different communities. In response to this controversy, they stated,
“At Miniland, we pride ourselves in respectfully representing various ethnicities, genders and conditions to encourage inclusivity in the hearts of children around the world.”
“...The Miniland Doll range includes dolls in different sizes, skin colors and features to help children to learn about both the differences and similarities of mankind in order to promote empathy and acceptance. These dolls have all been designed and modeled after real children and our designers take time to immerse themselves in all cultures before they start making the dolls.
“Within each ethnicity of our range, physical features vary in size and shape, allowing for more children to find dolls they feel connected to. Having said this no two children look alike so while we provide a great deal of individuality in each range, we cannot create dolls that reflect all. Instead we have strived to capture the spirit of each ethnicity, while solidifying many of the characteristics that make each people unique and important.
“Just as we’ve realistically created other ethnicities in our doll range, our African and African-American dolls are a direct representation of their communities’ spirit and allow children both from these backgrounds and from other ethnicities to play with dolls that reflect this heritage and culture — often for the very first time.” 
“…We realize that not every person will feel a connection to our creations, and we respect those opinions; but the main focus of our message remains one of self-acceptance, respect and inclusivity and we hope to continue to build upon important feedback to further promote this mission.”
This collection also includes other dolls with various races and ethnicities as well as Down syndrome and features like glasses and hearing implants. So, what do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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