Jennifer Pierre is flipping the notion that dolls are only for girls upside down with her new line, Melanites.
Pierre, who works closely with young boys of color, created Melanites to destroy stereotypes that constrict what masculinity can and cannot be while uplifting black and brown boyhood with her new line of dolls.
“When we stereotype toys into [the] girl category and boy category, it’s very problematic,” Pierre told The Huffington Post in the video above. “And that polarizing effect really doesn’t allow young children to use their imagination to create different spaces based on their personality instead of their gender.”
Melanites come in four different characters with a varying range of skin tones, facial features and hair types to represent different young boys of color. Pierre told HuffPost that she hopes the doll line will help young boys see the values of themselves and everyone around them.
“I’m creating dolls for boys because I want them to have a space that’s free of the pressures of hyper-masculinity and any other stereotype that tells them that they have to be this way or they have to express
themselves that way,” she said.
“You can’t be what you can’t see and our stories, our lives, our history everything that encompasses who we are it needs to be accurate,
it needs to be out there, that’s why I decided to do Melanites.”
This video was produced by Felicia Kelley.