these black dolls are redefining beauty and royalty for young girls of color

August 22, 2017
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When Múkami Kinoti Kimotho’s daughter, Zara, was only 4-years-old, she first asked her mother to straighten her hair. That’s when Kimotho understood the importance of encouraging young girls like Zara to love their natural hair and bodies in a world that tells them they shouldn’t.

“For girls as young as Zara wanting to change those elements about herself, I thought that’s what we need to do something about,” Kimotho told USA TODAY.

Thinking about that moment, Kimotho, a former vice president of Global Diversity & Inclusion Strategies at BNY Mellon, came up with the idea for Royelles, a “collection of fierce avatars that inspires girls to be authentic, creative, brilliant, and bold — empowered, everyday superheroes.”

Kimotho chose the name as a commentary on our ideas of royalty. The Royelles come in multiple characters, each with an avatar that exists virtually in an app that also contains educational games and e-books.

The entrepreneur launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first collection, and it has raised over $24,000 so far!