With it being the holidays, people are in toy shopping mode. These expressions of love and generosity create bonds and joy. It’s a magical time, especially for children, but beware of the Trojan horse.
How does it make your melanated princess feel when you give her a Frozen wig to wear, a Blue-eyed Baby Alive doll, a backpack decorated with Anglo fairies? What does it teach her about herself?
If s/he has been fed a steady diet of mainstream media (cartoons, clothes, books, toys), s/he will be excited. In fact, any child may be excited because the mainstream media are exciting, colorful, fun, and it connects one to a group experience. After all, these companies spend loads on marketing to children and parents. However, what is the subconscious message and what is it doing to your child?
Many times we (parents) feel it is okay because the characters are animals, but the animals all have blue eyes and the animal that is the leader has white fur; there is that one Black character, but the main characters and superhero are all Anglo, heck even the Black character may be anglicized (you know with straight hair); the movie is based in China or somewhere in the “middle east,” but you best believe the main characters are light-skinned while the antagonist/evil characters are dark-skinned with heavy accents; or it’s a techy game,
What if I told you that this mainstream children’s media chips away at your malenated child’s self-esteem? And gives your anglo child an artificial sense of self-esteem.
What if I told you that main stream children’s media decreases your malenated child’s life chances? Yeah, like that means that when someone gifts your melanated child that Sir Topham Hatt it is the gateway to illiteracy, apathy, depression, low academic achievement, low financial literacy, it’s like slipping someone a shiny little pill and they never see it coming.
So, when someone hands your child a Pokémon poster, a show with all the anglo characters and the controversial Blackface Jynx, it is telling him who is important, who deserves to be loved, and what is beautiful! Why not say, no thank you, and get him a Meltrek poster.
Swift Walker Books
Fred Crump Jr Fairy Tale Books
Children's Backpacks, clothes, shoes:
Islamic Children's Books:
*not Black-Owned, but positive representation.