Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dr. Lisa Williams Shows Girls They Are 'Positively Perfect' With Doll Line

Zair from the 18-inch Diva collection (Photo from PositivelyPerfectDolls.com)

Follow the link to read more about the dolls:

Dr. Lisa Williams Shows Girls They Are 'Positively Perfect' With Doll Line

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15 comments:

  1. Thank you for the link and I do have a question for you. From your experience, is long hair commonplace on most kid dolls for the last 10 years or so? I don't know why I have a bug up my butt about that lately but it seems odd to me. Perhaps from a kid play point of view long hair is ideal. However, from a "doll like me," point a view, I'd like more dolls with different hair types and lengths, not just different skin tones.

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  2. They are so cute. I love the one you have pictured above the most. I do hope their heads are adjustable. I understand holding your head up high and the importance of that, but in that position all the time and they appear a little stuck up.

    Muff, I think the long hair is more for hair styling purposes. That's the primary thing that little and big girls do with their dolls. If the hair is hard to comb and style, does the doll get less play? I can say from experience, even today, I get soooo frustrating trying to style my Top Model Nikki's hair. I have tried different products, to no avail. I have sent numerous emails to other collectors who have styled her hair so beautifully, but still I fail. If she wasn't so pretty, girlfriend would be in a box somewhere. I love my Shantavia's hair, but I didn't have to do anything to it. Thank goodness!

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    1. Ah, thanks for the info Vanessa. I'm not really up on the young kid doll set but I could have sworn that dolls I saw in my youth had hair of varying lengths, then again, short hair and afros were the rage then. I even remember those big bodyless Barbie heads that were for stying hair or those dolls that allowed you to pull the hair out to make it longer and a pull string to make it shorter.

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    2. Hi Muff,

      Great question! From a kid's play point of view, long, combable hair is ideal and is the preference for most little girls regardless of their ethnicity.

      From an AA perspective, does this preference stem from conditioning that long hair is better than short, textured hair? Maybe, and if it is, it will take years to undo, if it ever gets undone at all.

      Ideally, I would love for little girls' first choice (specifically AA girls) to be dolls that look like them from hair to toe, but in America and I suppose globally, this is unrealistic at least for now.

      In doll play, little girls want to do what their mother's do with/for them. Combing their doll's hair is part of that mimic Mama process. Let's face it, it is easier to comb through non-textured hair than textured. It is also easier to style nontextured hair in braids and other styles. So given a choice, a girl-child (who has not been conditioned otherwise) will probably choose a doll with long hair over one with textured.

      Hoping this will change, but understanding why it is what it is, for now at least.

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    3. Great answer re: doll-hair length, Vanessa.

      I like the doll pictured here the best, too. I'm not sure if their heads are moveable. If not, I don't think little girls will mind or even notice.

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    4. Muff - I have a couple of the styling heads. They were my favorites. They were black, but they had long straight hair. I also have a Chrissy doll, with the growing hair in the middle of her head. My mom has claimed her as her own. She was my absolute favorite growing up because she was soooo big. Again, the hair was straight. I should show her one day soon, but it would mean combing her hair to make her presentable and I'm not sure I am up for the challenge.

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    5. I have the entire Crissy grow-hair family: Crissy, Velvet, Tressy, Cinnamon, and Tara. I have duplicates of some. These were purchased as an adult collector. Some can be seen here.

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    6. Debbie, my Chrissy, grow hair doll, is is a baby that is the size of a 6 - 9 month old real baby. She is huge. I will have to show her one day.

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    7. Oh, you have Baby Crissy. I have her, too.

      Here's a better website:

      http://www.angelfire.com/de3/blackdollezine/dollfocus13.html

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  3. DBG, thanks so much for answering me. I can say that my wants as a kid no doubt differ greatly from my wants as an adult. At this point I could see me being "that" parent who tries to lean their child towards a textured doll versus a super long straight haired doll. If I liked dolls as a kid I would probably want the long haired one too so I could fuss with it. But I don't have any kids or hair for that matter so I guess I'll get over it, lol.

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    1. You're welcome, Muff!

      LOL @ the "no kids, no hair" comment.

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  4. I'm late to the party but this is an issue I spend a lot of time thinking about so I'll put in my two cents' worth.

    Before the SIS dolls there was another line of African American fashion dolls from Mattel -- Shani, Asha, and Nichelle. They were hyped as having face molds that more accurately represented African American features and they came in three different skin tones to better represent the variety of complexions among African Americans. I bought these dolls but was very disappointed that they had the same long, silky straight hair as other Barbies. Mattel tried to justify it by citing their research. They found that little girls spent the majority of their time combing and styling their dolls' hair, just as Debbie notes.

    Still Muff, you are right. In the 70s fashion dolls had a wider variety of short hairstyles but based on their research, in the late 80s Mattel started producing dolls with outrageously long hair. This is why Shani et. al. got stuck with the silky straight weaves.

    Yes, it is easier to comb and style straight hair but the vogue for dolls that come with an assortment of wigs is an opportunity to change play patterns. I think changing wigs is a lot more fun because you can have an infinite variety of lengths, colors, and styles.

    As for Vanessa's frustration with Top Model Nikki's hair -- I think that the dolls with textured hair that are available on the market reflect the fact that the designers and engineers who produce these dolls don't necessarily have first hand experience with the texture of black hair. If there were a strong incentive to create black dolls with natural texture hair, someone would have created fibers that reflect those textures and would have figured out how to make them combable. Some of the natural texture wigs I make can be combed.

    I think we also need to get beyond the idea that black women's hair won't grow long. In my neighborhood there are many sisters with dreadlocks down to their behinds (real ones, not weaves). Traditional African hairstyles valued making sculptural forms. Some of those styles require long, thick hair and there were sisters who had it like that. When we stop heat treating and chemically processing our hair, it tends to grow out. It just doesn't blow in the wind.

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    1. Thanks, Limbe Dolls, for sharing your insight on the subject of African American hair, texture, and length with reference to dolls.

      I always enjoy reading your in-depth comments.

      I agree wholeheartedly with you, particularly the first sentence of the last paragraph.

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  5. can anyone tell me where i can find out how much my black 1972 Crissy doll is valued at she still has plastic on her hair with original box?

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  6. Your doll was given a 2008 value in my second book, Black Dolls a Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion. I, however, do not give free doll appraisals.

    Your best bet is to search eBay.com for completed auctions for Black African American Baby Crissy to see how much the doll is selling for at auction in today's market.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!