People like Dana Hill are adamant about empowering young Black girls to love their hair, which continues to make a major impact on the beauty industry. The idea is to create an authentic doll identical to Black girls came about when Hill was at a Christmas party and attendees dressed up as their favorite dolls.
Hill, known as “Mama Doll,” has a host of brand ambassadors who donate to Black girls every Christmas during their annual doll-themed parties. This movement has been nationally recognized, even catching the attention of former President Barack Obama. He recognized the organization with the Volunteer Service Award.
“Their challenge every year is to get behind the self-esteem theme and act as teachers in a classroom promoting this theme to empower these baby doll guests,” Hill said to CBS News. “Then once they’re fully empowered, they leave with a doll, and that’s happened all over the country for 16 years which is how we became the largest consumer group of black Barbie and now officially partners with Barbie for the last 10 years.”
Civil rights pioneer John Lewis helped proclaim Dec. 12 as The Black Doll Affair Day. Hill continues to push the narrative of changing the way Black girls perceive themselves. A study by Arizona State University shared how girls as young as 10 have expressed having negative experiences because of their hair.
A number of girls in an informal survey reported that they had been verbal teased or bullied because of their hair, starting in preschool or kindergarten. Hill sees the significance of what Black girls go through with their hair, and she is inspired to address this issue positively.