Home Doll sale How an aunt’s search for a gift idea turned into a campaign for change

How an aunt’s search for a gift idea turned into a campaign for change

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A simple search for a gift idea turned into a campaign for change.

That’s what happened with Rebecca Law, a resident of Atlin, British Columbia.

After returning home from visiting her family in Trinidad and Tobago, she wanted to give her niece a present.

“I went online to learn how to make this doll,” Law said. “I wanted to do a brunette doll because she’s a brown-skinned girl.”

“I searched ‘black sock dolls’ because I wanted to see what others had found. The first options that came up were just mind blowing. I was flabbergasted. They all looked like slaves.”

Some of Law’s sock dolls. “It makes me so happy to know that I’m like any other mom. Like any other person I see. Everyone is beautiful. That’s pretty much the point here for me.” (Submitted by Rebecca Law)

Law told CBC there were plenty of antique stores displaying “mummy’s old dolls.”

“When you go online and see things like that, it’s disturbing,” Law said. “I didn’t know what to do. Obviously I had done something wrong. That’s not what I intended to see.”

His next search didn’t go much better.

“I changed the search and put in ‘brown sock dolls,’ Law explained. “What came up was just a whole page of [sock] monkeys. I do not represent myself as a monkey. I don’t represent myself as a slave or a ‘mammy’ doll.”

100 sock dolls

Law decided to turn a negative experience into a positive initiative.

She first learned how to make her own sock dolls. Each doll takes a few hours to make. Most of the time is spent on clothing styling and hair styling.

Then she set herself a goal: to make 100.

Law has a background in web design, so she created a website for her work.

More sock dolls from Law. “I decided to take some nice photos of them and flood Google’s metadata with them.” (Submitted by Rebecca Law)

“I bought a website called ‘Black Brown Dolls’ just to try to spread my dolls instead of the awful options that came up,” she said. “I decided to take some great photos of them and flood Google’s meta-data to replace the top picks that show up when searching for black or brown dolls.”

Law has a Gofundme page where people can support the campaign. She says she’s not doing this for profit and all money raised goes towards supplies. She also asks people to make their own sock dolls and send her a picture of them that she can add to her website.

Positive comment

Since posting the campaign on social media, Law has received many messages from people asking to buy a doll for themselves.

Dawson City resident Krystal Profeit commented, “These are amazing!!! Are they for sale?”

Melvina Jones, who lives in White Rock, British Columbia, said she would also love one for her baby girl.

Whitehorse resident Loralea Frizzell commented, “I ordered one. A boy for my boy. I can not wait to see it.

Some people just wanted to share their appreciation for the initiative.

Megan Markus wrote: “It’s so amazing and I love that you decided to create a website so other people don’t have to come across racist and outdated images.”

Christina MacMillan simply wrote, “PASS IT ON THEIR.

“Everybody is beautiful”

Law says she does it because there needs to be better representation of blacks and browns.

“I find myself crying silently in my own home when I feel like I’m not seen for who I am, or what I look like, or for being beautiful and unique. I don’t want that for my niece .I don’t want my sons to accidentally google something black or brown only to find something that hurts their souls like that.”

Law says the support she has received from people has made her extremely grateful. In fact, during this interview, Law received a message from another parent asking how they could make their own doll for their child.

“It makes me so happy to know that I’m just like any other mum. Just like anyone else. To be seen. Everyone is beautiful. That’s pretty much the point here for me.”