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Black Doll Maker Responds After Customer Recommends She Lighten Her Doll to Improve Sales

• Jul 20, 2016

Mala Bryan is a St Lucia‐born, South Africa‐based model who launched Malaville, a black doll company featuring four dolls — Maisha, Mala, Malina and Mhina — each with a different backstory and unique style.

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

Malaville’s Instagram account is adorable and chic, featuring the dolls posed in different scenarios, outfits and hair styles. The dolls have been featured in dozens of publications, and praised by celebrities including Garcelle Beauvais and Thandie Newton. Bryan has always been deliberate about ensuring that her dolls represent the vastness of black beauty and got the idea to start the company when she couldn’t find darker‐skinned dolls for a toy drive.

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

But it was the deep‐toned Maisha doll that recently drove a customer to make a very ignorant suggestion.

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

Bryan posted the comment on Malaville’s Instagram account;

I think that one doll is a bit too dark. That’s like the Sudanese doll. I think its safe to say that’s the least best‐selling… Keep the other three and create accessories etc. 🙂 Keep doing what you do sistah.”

The screenshot also includes a response from a customer who defended the company.

View this post on Instagram

Sending lots of love to the beautiful dark skinned people out there, especially to those that share the same complexion as our #MaishaDoll just know that your black is beautiful, this comment really touched me today and I just needed to share it on here as well. Hopefully it will help us spread some extra love around. x MB #Repost @malabryan with @repostapp ・・・ So this comment was made about my #MaishaDoll. I was thinking about just ignoring it but I’m sharing just so that people realize that our super dark people must still be facing a huge problem. This is just sad. Although I got a compliment at the end, the person had the nerve to talk about her being the least selling when she actually my second best selling. Ugh!

A post shared by Malaville by Mala Bryan (@malavilledolls) on

But in the captions of the post, Bryan chimed in with her own reply ;

Sending lots of love to the beautiful dark skinned people out there, especially to those that share the same complexion as our #MaishaDoll just know that you black is beautiful, this comment really touched me today and I just needed to share it on here as well. Hopefully it will help us spread some extra love around… So this comment was made about my #MaishaDoll. I was thinking about just ignoring it but I’m sharing just so that people realize that our super dark people must still be facing a huge problem. This is just sad. Although I got a compliment at the end, the person had the nerve to talk about her being the least selling when she actually my second best selling. Ugh!”

The reality is that unapologetically representing dark‐skinned beauty is still seen as taboo and often frowned upon, both within and outside of black culture. We are grateful that companies like Malaville continue this representation in a way that inspires and empowers.

https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

A customer with the Maisha doll https://www.instagram.com/malavilledolls/

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Sondra HarrisKhalilah KJ Curlscth4GiGeljjaimaralondon Recent comment authors
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Beautiful response by the owner.

cth4GiG
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cth4GiG

My hubby is dark, dark and I wouldn’t have it no other way. Is it safe to say I am ONLY attracted to dark men, huh?!!

cth4GiG
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cth4GiG

Light‐bright is a psychological standard norm. We have to get over it. Hypermelanin is the truth!

Ivie9ja
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Ivie9ja

This made me emotional. Theres so much anger and disgust felt towards color. The world has so much healing to do… smh. I hope the person who made that comment sees how stupid they sound.

Heather
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Heather

These dolls are cute and a good start. I’m hoping that as she makes more money, she’ll be able to find a factory that can make dolls with a wider range of facial features. They ALL have skinny noses and lips.

Victoria Owl
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Victoria Owl

Yea, I think if she gets more sales and investors it can definitely happen. I will definitely support her company. We came a long way so this a great start.

Tyriesa Malone
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Tyriesa Malone

I wish I would have had these dolls when I was younger. (I would have wanted them all! LOL) But if I have a child and she/he likes dolls I will make sure their favorite is one that looks like them. My children will grow up being unapologetically brown!

Esha Fowlin
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Esha Fowlin

Great response by the owner it’s hard to respond with such poise and grace when your are constantly being attacked. Kudos to her, on a good day I respond like this on bad ones it’s much harsher lol #human

Ugonna Wosu
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Ugonna Wosu

Beautiful response by both responders.

Kuwala
Guest

Gorgeous dolls and classy response to an ignorant comment. It’s sad when people don’t realize how corrupted they are by the colonial mindset. We fight for representation for all shades of black, not just lighter complexions!

Khalilah KJ Curls
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Khalilah KJ Curls

These dolls are so important!! Girls of all shades need to see their likeness not only in the media but in the toys they play with. Grown women too.

http://www.khalilahkjcurls.com

maralondon
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maralondon

This kind of ignorance bothers me. I will say it and keep on saying ‘stop perpetuating the Willie Lynch mentality’.

eljjai
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eljjai

OMG where can I get these? I have nieces growing up hyper white in a hyper white world! and no one seems to care (parents are married to white folks)

Sondra Harris
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Sondra Harris

Please call me as soon as possiled. I like the dolls that you make. I want to talk with you to see if you will make several (men and women dolls) for me. (313)372‑7679. Please call from 10am to 5pm.

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