feature: the ‘healthy roots’ dolls – teaching girls of color self-love through “education, diversity, and positive representation”

September 18, 2015

Check out Healthy Roots – the doll and book series that is teaching girls of color self-love and the best ways to care for their natural hair. The brainchild of illustrator Yelitsa Jean-Charles, Healthy Roots stars best friends Zoe, Dara, Gaiana and Marinda; girls that represent different cultures of the African diaspora, that are from different walks of life and passionate about learning and creating good for others. Yelitsa says, “Growing up, I suffered from many insecurities about my skin color and hair texture. I was often told that in order to be beautiful you had to have long, flowing hair or fair skin. Not seeing many girls like me in the media didn’t help these issues. Today, only 8% of children’s books have main characters of color, but about 50% of children in the USA are of color. These numbers don’t add up. I created Healthy Roots to fill that void. Internalized racism and colorism stem from mainstream beauty standards that exclude women of color. The pressure that girls feel to appeal to mainstream beauty standards impacts their self esteem, leading them to use dangerous chemicals like perms and bleaching creams to become “beautiful.” Healthy Roots teaches girls of color self-love through education, diversity, and positive representation”. CLICK HERE to support this amazing toy company, and see video and images below.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor


Pictured, Yelitsa Jean-Charles, Founder of Healthy Roots