An Atlanta 6th grader who co-founded a company that makes dolls with black and brown skin is set to give back to her community by donating 1,000 dolls to charities this Christmas. According to WSB-TV, Zoe Oli, 10, and her mother Evana launched their company Beautiful Curly Me after Zoe complained about the unavailability of dolls that looked like her.
“Seeing something I played with every day that looks like me made me feel powerful and feeling like I could do anything,” Zoe, who has always loved playing with dolls, said.
Evana said her daughter initially asked her about her appearance when she was in the first grade. “She came home from school asking me why isn’t her hair straight and pretty like her classmates,” Evana recalled, adding that she responded by telling her daughter that her natural hair was more beautiful.
“One of the things I did was buy her a Black doll. She liked it, but made references that the doll didn’t have hair like hers. The doll’s hair was straight, even though it was a dark-skinned doll.”
Zoe’s comments about that doll spurred them to launch Beautiful Curly Me. The duo has since been making dolls for three years. The dolls have features such as black and brown skin and curly hair. One of the company’s missions is to provide little girls with dolls they can identify themselves with, WSB-TV reported. Another is to also make the toys available to those who cannot have them.
And in that effort, Zoe and her mother announced they’ll be giving away 1,000 dolls to charities this Christmas. The dolls will be handed out to underserved girls.
“A doll is representative of who you are as a child. A doll is really your standard of beauty. Seeing a doll that looks like me helped me know I am beautiful and I can do anything,” Zoe said.
The charities that will receive the holiday gifts include the Atlanta Children’s Shelter and Atlanta Mission.