If I could bring one thing from today’s day and age back into my childhood, it would have to be a Healthy Roots doll. According to their website, only four out of ten girls love their curly hair and you best believe that it took me over 20 years to be one of the four instead of the other six.
Healthy Roots is a toy company that reinforces positive self-perceptions of the richly diverse, varying shades of complexion and natural hair textures among girls of color, according to the company’s website, and they definitely aren’t wrong. Yelitsa Jean-Charles, owner and founder of Healthy Roots who started the company in 2015, said that she never had a doll that looked like her growing up and, when her parent’s finally got her a black doll, she burst into tears because it wasn’t "the pretty one." Since then Yelitsa’s goal was to ensure that no other child would ever feel the way she did that day.
The Healthy Roots dolls come in a variety of skin tones, hair textures and facial expressions. The best part — the doll’s hair can be styled in many different ways. With a grant from Brown University Social Innovation Fellowship, support from the RISD E’Ship Program, Mass Challenge Accelerator program and over 650 Kickstarter backers, Healthy Roots became the first line of dolls to enter the toy industry with natural hair.
The company’s website features their Zoe doll, which is 18 inches tall and sports her natural hair with a white t-shirt, denim shorts and white converse. They also have t-shirts that say, "I love my healthy roots" with illustrations of black girls wearing their natural hair. If you're interested in getting your own doll or gifting one to a young girl of color you know, then check out their full collection here!