Asian Baby Dolls: Where Are They?

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Where has she been hiding?
Where has she been hiding?
Consider this an open thread. In other words, I don’t have any answers, but I’d love to hear what you have to say on this subject. So, now that I have my very own babygirl, I’ve started paying attention to dolls again. As a child, I loved my baby dolls and stuffed animals, but with two sons, my doll obsession went dormant and was replaced with an affection for cool cars, trains and Lego’s.

Of course, babygirl seems equally smitten with cool cars, trains and Lego’s because of the influence of her older brothers, but still, I imagine the day when I’ll go to a toy store and she’ll want me to buy her a doll. And I will comply because, as I just mentioned, I love dolls. So, I’ve been scoping out the options and I find myself wondering do I get babygirl a Black baby doll because that’s what I grew up with and that’s how I see my daughter, even though she is still as white as snow, or do I look for a doll with ambiguous racial features that somewhat mirror her own? Sadly, the decision may not be mine to make as I’ve come to discover that if the doll isn’t Black or White, there are very little in-between options on the store shelves.

And dear readers, I was about to get indignant for all of us moms of Mixie kids because I couldn’t find a doll that looks even a little bit like my child. But then I saw an Asian woman in a store with her daughter carrying a White baby doll with blonde hair and big blue eyes and I smacked myself. Here I am complaining about not being able to find the right shade of beige baby for my kid, when the last time I checked at the typical toy stores, I didn’t see a single Asian baby doll. And I’m not talking about a “sit on the shelf” collectible. I just mean a nice baby doll with Asian features.

Is there an online resource that sells “ethnic” baby dolls? Is there a growth market here? How do you instill positive self-esteem in a young child of color if you give her a White baby to see herself in? I worry about this stuff. What about you?

Chime in and let me know what you think. I’m listening.


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8 Thoughts to “Asian Baby Dolls: Where Are They?”

  1. I agree it’s hard to find Asian dolls! I have sons and have never really been in the market for dolls, but when the Cabbage Patch kids got re-introduced a few years ago, I nearly went out and bought an Asian doll… just because… how often are you going to find one?

    And I do think the representations children see influence their perceptions of what’s “beautiful” or even “normal”.

    1. Ms. Meltingpot


      I would have bought the Asian Cabbage Patch! Lol! I have a hard time not buying dolls when I see really cute unique ones. Thank god I got the girl, but she could care less it seems.
      Thanks for stopping by The Meltingpot.

  2. I don’t worry about this stuff, I just know about this stuff. I understand the institutional racism that exists here and understand that this society was developed to promote the dominant white culture. We (people of color) just have to fight to empower ourselves. Don’t buy a baby of a different race if you can’t find one of your own race.

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      I feel you. Thanks for adding your voice to the Meltingpot!

  3. Susan:)

    As a lover of dolls, and a collector, and a lover of diversity, I have noticed the lack of Asian and mixed ethnic dolls. There are some. American Girl makes Asian baby dolls as well as a variety of others. There are a few choices for mixed ethnic dolls there. Once in awhile I see an Asian Barbie little sister doll. I don’t see the adult Asian barbies anymore. I have one from the 90s, haven’t seen any since. I know there are various ethnic dolls available online, you just have to look it up. Unfortunately in stores, white prevails with a few Black and Hispanic dolls usually available.

    As for your daughter, I suggest getting a few different colors/ethnicities. She can have a diverse little family. 🙂

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for the informed opinion. It’s good to know that there are some dolls out there with a little bit of diversity. And I like your idea for my daughter!

  4. Thrasher

    The absence of Asian baby speaks to the intentional cultural prerogatives of the Asian community in America circa 2014.

    It is a culture that wants to minimize their stature in America . Clearly despite some mild protestations from the younger bandwidth of Asians they prefer the mantra of the ‘model minority’ silent and invisible ..

    Seeking recognition is frowned upon from Asian Baby Dolls to anything which elevates them into the front of the stage .

    I hope the younger generation of Asians make some noise and demands. Starting with Asian baby dolls works for me…

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      Wow, I’ve never considered that perspective. I too hope there is some public demand for Asian baby dolls to be the norm and not the exception.

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