Kids With Vitiligo Can Now Have A Doll That Looks Like Them

The dolls can also help teach others about the common skin condition.

Vitiligo is a common condition that causes the loss of skin color in certain areas of the body, such as hair, eyes, and the mouth. While there are some treatments, there's currently no cure and the cause is unknown. Though the condition isn't life-threatening, it can deeply impact a person's self-esteem as people with vitiligo may be subjected to harsh judgments and bullying. As a result, these people may develop depression, anxiety, or feel insecure. Some may try to cover up the condition with makeup or clothing in hopes that people won't look at them differently. 

But instead of trying to hide vitiligo, some are embracing their unique look, and even booking high-profile modeling gigs and creating viral body art,  proving to the world that the condition should be celebrated, not ridiculed. 

One artist, named Kay Black, is hoping to help people with the condition feel more confident in their own skin by creating dolls that look like them, and selling them in her online shop Kay Customz. She's known for being a talented Black doll (and unique earring) designer, but recently started gaining more attention for her efforts to represent people with vitiligo. 

Customers can send a photo of the person they'd like their doll modeled after and she'll design one to look like them

These dolls help show kids how special their skin differences are, and encourage them to feel more confident in their appearance. They also help build confidence and inspire creativity, and can also be used as a tool to teach others about the skin condition. 

Even adults have placed orders for the dolls, excited to get their hands on a toy that actually looks like them as most mainstream dolls have white skin, lighter features and are able-bodied. 

Like Black, many other makers have worked to make the toy industry more inclusive by designing dolls with no hair, dolls that are differently-abled, and dolls that celebrate a variety of races

Even big brands are starting to take notice. Last year, Mattel unveiled a new set of Barbies featuring different body shapes and skin tones in an effort to inject some realism and diversity into the iconic doll. This year, the brand gave Ken the same treatment by releasing dolls with more diverse body types, skin tones, hair colors, hairstyles, and eye colors

It's so important that kids get to see themselves reflected in the toys they play with, the media they consume, and even the party supplies used to celebrate their birthdays.  We applaud Black's efforts to give kids more options and representation by helping people realize that vitiligo is nothing to be ashamed of. 

A Plus has reached out to Black for comment.

(H/T: Konbini)  

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