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Customer slams black toy line, says doll is 'too dark'

FEELIN' MY FRO: Model Mala Bryan with her dolls

A CARIBBEAN model who launched a black toy line, has hit back at a customer who said that one of the entrepreneur's dolls was "too dark" and probably wouldn't sell.

Mala Bryan, a St Lucian model, created a collection of black dolls called Malaville Dolls in several beautiful shades and different hair textures.

However, Bryan’s goal of empowering little black girls across the globe was recently met with criticism when a customer made a comment that one of the dolls was too dark. Bryan decided to share the comment on the company’s Instagram page along with another customer’s response.

“I think that one doll [Maisha doll] is a bit too dark. That’s like the Sudanese doll. I think its safe to say that’s the least best-selling… Keep the other three and create accessories etc. Keep doing what you do sistah,” the customer commented.

In response, the entrepreneur said: "…I don’t believe that a doll can be too dark…Black in all shades, is indeed beautiful and that’s what Mala Bryan is trying to communicate to the world. Alek Wek, a Sudanese model, is (according to her own words) 'as black as the night' and she can be seen on the biggest runways in the world. I don’t think its safe to say that’s the least best selling doll…#celebratehumanity."

Bryan captioned the shared screenshot, clarifying as to why she chose to post it on Instagram: “Sending lots of love to the beautiful dark skinned people out there, especially to those that share the same complexion as our #MaishaDoll just know that you black is beautiful, this comment really touched me today and I just needed to share it on here as well. Hopefully it will help us spread some extra love around… So this comment was made about my #MaishaDoll. I was thinking about just ignoring it but I’m sharing just so that people realize that our super dark people must still be facing a huge problem. This is just sad. Although I got a compliment at the end, the person had the nerve to talk about her being the least selling when she actually my second best selling. Ugh!”

Bryan, an avid doll collector, created Malaville Toys after not seeing more reasonably priced black dolls.

In an interview with The Huffington Post in January, Bryan explained: “I made the decision to go ahead with the dolls because I could not find affordable kinky or curly haired black/brown dolls to add to my Barbie collection.”

The dolls come in different shades of brown with a variety of hair curls, coils and textures.

“There are lots of adult doll collectors that would reroot black Barbie dolls with more natural hair but they are usually quite expensive… I notice[d] that there was a high demand for them so that was one of the main things I noted,” Bryan added.

The international model used to decorate dolls in St Lucia but became frustrated when the dolls she used were white.

So last year, Bryan launched Malaville Toys. It took nearly eight months to produce the four friends while she also created a Malaville world for the dolls to live in. While they’re out living their busy lives you can keep up with the girls, their jobs and their travels via their Instagram accounts.

“I believe that diverse representation is extremely important because children tend to associate their dolls with their playmate,” Bryan said.

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