It’s the perfect time for giving and Mary Baldwin University college students feel the same way. For the past 25 years, the Annual Black Baby Doll Drive has been helping young girls in Virginia find the perfect doll for themselves and boost self-esteem.
300 young girls had the joy of opening heartwarming gifts from college students on Christmas Day. The demand for black baby dolls has always been low when it comes to manufacturers. However, the students at Mary Baldwin University saw it as an opportunity to give back to the community.
Chief Diversity Officer Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott says that the main goal of the drive is to promote diversity and self-image. “We know that there is a clear tie between the achievement gap and self-esteem, especially for Black girls. And oftentimes African-American girls have problems with self-image because they don’t see a lot of images of themselves in theme media, and often they struggle with whether or not they’re beautiful.”
Many are taught about the “doll test” in school. The doll test is an experiment in which characteristics are associated with white dolls versus black dolls. The majority of girls end up picking white dolls over black dolls. The students at the university wanted to widen the availability of black dolls for their community.
Teaira Jordan, a 20-year-old sophomore says, “when you look at dolls and you’re giving these young girls dolls and you’re telling them, ‘Your Black is beautiful, your features are beautiful,’ you have to make sure that you yourself believe those things.”
The university students admitted that it was difficult to find dolls in the area. Soon the students began making it a competition to see who could find the most dolls in the area.