Growing up in the era of barbie and bratz dolls I hardly saw any representation of people that looked like me or my family, forget hijabi dolls there were hardly any dolls or toys that represented people of colour, with different eye colours, types of hair and facial features. All the toys were very euro-centric.
Obviously as a child I didn't pick this up, but it did cause an underlying effect, that now when I reflect on it, is down to what we were exposed to as children. What I mean by that is, by only being exposed to very 'white' European dolls as well as the colourism that exists in our culture I grew up thinking or feeling like those dolls represented the ideal beauty standard.
I never felt comfortable giving my daughter a barbie not even for the reason I mentioned above, but because of how sexualised the dolls are. Why does a young child need a doll with accentuated womanly features and makeup?
I could talk about these issues but that calls for another post entirely, I just wanted you to get the idea for why I was so excited when I came across the Salam Sisters dolls.
Salam Sisters is a group of 5 fun, loveable, culturally diverse dolls, each doll has different hobbies, interests and skills. They're not your average dolls, each one motivates your child to dream big, be ambitious, compassionate and follow their dreams.
Choosing the doll I wanted for my daughter was not an easy task. The radiographer in me wanted to choose Nura who loves science, or Karima who loves sports and dreams of being an olympian (my daughter started playing football before she could walk) but I went for Yasmina because it's the one that looked most like her and representation is one of the main reasons I fell in love with these dolls. For me it was important to have a doll that looked like her to encourage self-confidence. I would love to have the whole collection for her one day so she can see the beauty of diversity in her toys as she does in the real world.
Inside the box was the Yasmina doll wearing a removable pre-styled scarf and under-cap, a spare scarf to style your own, a hairbrush, activity book and an augmented reality play-mat.
They are aimed for children aged 3+ as there may be small parts, which pose a choking hazard, in this case the smallest thing was the shoes (which isn't that small), however, I have been supervising her play just to be on the safe side.
For now my daughter enjoys role playing with her doll, brushing the hair, putting on and removing the shoes and that's as far as it goes because she's only 16 months, when she understands a little bit more I will be introducing the book at play-mat to her.
If you want to your child to be able to make use of all the features that come with the doll I would recommend this for girls aged 5 and above, but younger children can still play with the doll, they just may not understand the concept completely.
When I originally posted about the dolls a few people messaged me saying they thought the dolls were too expensive, I was also skeptical to begin with when I first came across them but let me tell you the price is so worth it. Like I said they're not your average doll as they have so many dimensions to them, the doll itself, the accessories and how technology is incorporated into it via the app. It's like the statement piece of the toy collection.
My daughter loves trying to feed the doll and read with it (I think she thinks this is her new sibling)
The quality of the doll, the packaging, the illustrations and everything just shows how much thought, amazing craftsmanship and work went into this project and I commend the artist Peter Gould and his team for being able to execute this so well.
You can check out the rest of the dolls in the range and purchase your own by clicking here
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What do you think of these dolls? Drop a comment below!