Thursday, January 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Big Beautiful Dolls Dasia


Dasia by Big Beautiful Dolls, Inc., 2000; designed by Audrey Bell and Georgette Taylor, is from the first line of full-figured 12-inch fashion dolls.  The above image is from my first book, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls.

My memory is fuzzy on how I initially met Georgette Taylor, Vice-President and Co-Founder of Big Beautiful Dolls, Inc., but it is clear that her Dasia doll, shown above, is what brought us together over a dozen years ago.

The text from the image above provides Dasia's attributes. 
Dasia - Big Beautiful Dolls, Inc., 2000, is from the first line of 12in (30.48cm) full-figured fashion dolls created by two AA female entrepreneurs, Audrey Bell and Georgette Taylor.  Dasia wears a black velour evening gown accented by a sheer black nylon wrap trimmed with black marabou feathers; black nylon hose and black faux leather high-heel shoes, iridescent ear studs and matching necklace.  Black rooted hair is styled in an upswept style; painted brown eyes.  Dasia was nominated for the 2002 Dolls Award of Excellence.

Except for complexion, Dawn (Caucasian) and Dena (Latina) share the same head sculpt and body as Dasia -- Photograph courtesy of Georgette Taylor.

Part of a trio, the other dolls in the Big and Beautiful Dolls, Inc. line were Dawn (Caucasian) and Dena (Latina).  As the first full-figured 12-inch dolls, Dasia and companions offered a more realistic representation of most adult female bodies.   

Silkstone Barbie (right) is giving Dasia some serious side eye. 




After featuring Dasia in the fashion doll chapter of my first book, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls (2003), Georgette and I participated in or attended doll events at the African American Museum in Dallas and met up again at the Modern Doll Collectors Convention held here in June 2004.   Several years ago, she invited me to do a doll display and discussion at a local library where she was program director.  Photos (low residue from a decade ago) taken at some of these events we attended and/or participated in are shown below:

Georgette Taylor and I were at the African American Museum, March 2004, Dallas, Texas for Tea at Three, "Black Doll History" lecture by Barbara Whiteman, curator Philadelphia Doll Museum
Most of our communication prior to March 2004 had been by email.  Georgette and I met in person for the first time at Barbara Whiteman's "Black Doll History" lecture at the African American Museum on March 18, 2004.  Whiteman conducted a slideshow presentation and also discussed a few physical dolls.  Dasia was one of these.  About Dasia, Whiteman commented, "...this doll broke the stereotypical thin-fashion doll mold and is a better representation of the female population."
 
Georgette Taylor displays her Big Beautiful Dolls at the Sugar 'N Spice Final Fling at the African American Museum, August 28, 2004.

Dasia brought us together again in August 2004 at the Sugar 'N Spice Final Fling at the African American Museum.  This "fling" was the conclusion of a several-month traveling exhibit of dolls from the collection of Regenia Perry, Ph.D., an art historian and African American folk art collector.  Georgette and I both had a doll display prior to a round table discussion that we participated in with Dr. Perry and Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is also a doll collector.  

Closer look at Taylor's display at the AA Museum in August 2004

Round Table Doll Discussion at AA Museum, August  28, 2004, with panel members L-R:  Commissioner John Wiley Price with what he identified as his "Daddy Long Legs doll by Mattel"; me with Ideal's 1951 Saralee, Dr. Regenia Perry, and Georgette Taylor with Dasia.

During the time I was actively exhibiting dolls throughout the city, Dasia usually accompanied me.  She has been featured in my "Evolution of Black Dolls From Mammies to Models" exhibit and in others.

Bell and Taylor's dolls Dasia, Dawn, and Dena made history as the first of a kind in their category and scale.  For additional information about Big Beautiful Dolls, Inc., and more images of Dena and Dawn, read Roville's Blog post dated April 28, 2012.

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My recent reconnection with Georgette Taylor, is what prompted this post.  As a result,Taylor will be featured on this blog soon to share some exciting news.  So please stay tuned!


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21 comments:

  1. Nice post. I can't wait to see/hear what exciting news Georgette has.

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    1. Thanks, GG. I am looking forward to sharing her news.

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  2. Thanks for this interesting info, these dolls are beautiful, I'm adding one to my wish list now. Did Mattel have anything to do with the Daddy Long Legs company or was this gentleman mistaking? Because I wasn't aware of Mattel being involved?

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    1. He could have been mistaken, but his doll was not a Karen Germany Daddy's Long Leg. It was a huge mostly cloth doll and much older than the Germany dolls. I took a picture of his display table that includes a better image of his doll, but since this post is about Dasia and Georgette Taylor, I didn't add that image or the other photos taken during that exhibit and discussion.

      I hope you are able to find the desired Big Beautiful Doll(s).

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  3. Thank YOU for sharing I too look forward to hearing more about the exciting news concerning Bell and Taylor's full figure Dolls. I will definitely check out the blog link you've attached. Thanks AGAIN!

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    1. You are welcome, Sandy! Georgette's news is certain to interest you and other women who strive for empowerment.

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    1. Gracias, Lindaivette! Ha sido un placer compartirlo.

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  5. Memories! Great Throwback! Now wonder where my Dasia doll is! Hummmmmmmmm????

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    1. Good memories! I hope you can locate your Dasia, Lee. Based on Facebook comments I received about this post, there continues to be a demand for her!

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  6. It would be great news if Ms. Taylor is bringing this series back. Thanks for sharing this neat post ;-)

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  7. I agree with Dana! It would be great if she was bringing back this line or one like it.

    You are not kidding, that Silkstone is throwing major shade.

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    1. Anytime someone attempts to remove her from the limelight, Silkstone throws them some serious shade. I guess my Dasia gets it from her on a constant basis because they occupy the same shelf in the doll room with Dasia, interestingly positioned in front of Silkstone.

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  8. Thanks for the the throwback. I remember being excited for these dolls. The only disappoinment was that they did not come with a line of clothing.

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    1. Extra fashions would have been wonderful! There were different versions of Dasia. I remember the Madam C. J. Walker one that I now wish I owned. An article and image can be seen here.

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  9. What a great throwback! Such great dolls.

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    1. Thank you, Brini. I am glad you enjoyed this piece.

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  10. Great info. I don't own one of those dolls but I sure would like too. I hope they bring them back.

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  11. I agree with D7ana, it would be nice to see them return. I noticed them when I first started collected dolls but wasn't able to spend that type of money then. They are on my wish list now! Thank for a great post!

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!