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Yahoo Life Videos

Woman creates custom crocheted dolls in 21 different skin tones: ‘It’s important for black people to know they’re represented’

Doll maker Tammy Blunte knows firsthand how important it is for children—and even adults—to see themselves represented in dolls. Growing up in Trinidad in the ’80s and ’90s, Blunte told Yahoo Life, she had cabbage patch dolls and white barbies, “but I could never find one that looked like me.” She adds, “It was quite difficult to find a black doll. And when you [did] Find a black doll, it has never been an afrocentric hairstyle. It was never the right skin tone. Representation wasn’t there.” This inspired her to start TammyBCreations, where she makes handmade crochet dolls that reflect black and brown little boys and girls. It was important to Blunte to ensure her dolls had a wide range of skin tones. When customers order a custom doll from Tammy B Creations, there are 21 different skin tones — “I try to be as close to your skin tone as possible,” she says — and about 10 different hairstyles to choose from. Blunte shares that she has received many heartwarming videos from children who are delighted with her custom made dolls and that “that’s what drives me”. She sees the dolls as something that can help kids “give them confidence and lift their spirits and say, ‘Wow, I’m beautiful.'” Having a doll that looks like her is a “special gift ‘ Blunt says. “To say, ‘okay, this doll is the color of my skin and she looks like me,’ those are the words – ‘just like me’ – that I like to hear.” She adds, “I want people to understand, that having something that makes them happy and proud can really make a difference for little girls and boys, even for adults when they see that.”

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