Recent studies show that children are strongly impacted by the appearance of the toys that they play with. That’s why designer Crystal Kaye decided to create a line of custom-made Black dolls that highlight the unique and diverse features of real people, including those with vitiligo – a skin condition that millions of people around the world suffer from.
“My goal is to go beyond the average assembly line-looking doll, to make relatable and realistic works,” she told the Today Show. “I find new and used dolls at different thrift stores and yard sales and use them as a canvas. I’ve created ones with red hair and freckles and others with albinism.”
In 2017, via her company Kay Customz, she started creating hand-painted dolls with vitiligo. She paints the skin of the porcelain dolls with intricate patterns inspired by girls who have the same skin condition. She then dresses each doll up with different clothing and hair styles.
For kids with vitiligo, the dolls are more than just toys. It helps boost their self-esteem and eliminate beauty barriers. In fact, her creations have already received numerous positive response online.
“I want to convey the message that beauty should not be manufactured, it should be based on one’s true mirror image,” Kaye said.
For more details, follow Crystal Kaye on Instagram @kaycustoms