Note from BW of Brazil: One of these days I must meet the actress Cris Vianna! I’m really not much into what Brazil has to offer in terms of its media, but I would love to sit and pick Cris’s brain for an hour or two. She is one of the most beautiful women on television plus, even not necessarily coming across as a militant, she strikes me as someone who really “gets it”. What I mean is, she isn’t afraid to speak on issues of race, she always represents black beauty well on the small screen, has been in a long-term relationship with a very dark-skinned black man for a number of years and now I learn that she is an avid collector of black dolls! I don’t expect Cris to be on the front lines leading any protests against the ongoing slaughter of black youth, but she quietly assumes her militancy in her own way. We most definitely need more black women like Cris Vianna in the spotlight!
Cris Vianna and the saga in search of black dolls
By Evillyn Regis
Hello! Today we will say something that you and I already did a lot and that always brings a smile to our lips when we remember. Yes! Our toys, our games … Oh, I miss that time! However, with the toy I’ll be talking about here, the actress Cris Vianna, me and many of you probably didn’t play with, but surely the next generations will have this opportunity: it’s the bonecas negras (black dolls).
The actress was present on Tuesday the 18, on Globo TV’s Encontro com Fátima Bernardes (talk show) and spoke about the lack of black representativeness in toys, especially with dolls. In the conversation, the actress admitted that she had few black dolls as a child and that now, as an adult, she collects many of them.
“We couldn’t find the dolls to buy, we still have difficulties today, it’s not so easy, we’re hoping for it to get better. I keep buying, I did not let go,” she explained.
Still during the conversation, Cris reveals what her special esteem is.
“I have a collection. This representation is very important, I have a great affection for my pretinhas (black dolls), there must be about 60 or 70,” she continued.
The psychologists Ana Marcilia and Mylene Alves together with the plastic artist Raquel Rocha devised the campaign ‘Cadê Nossa Boneca?’ (where is our doll?) The study was conducted by the NGO Avante and it went on the air in April 2016. At first, the site and the Facebook page brought up the lack of black dolls on the market and brought discussions about the topic. But until then, the little diversity among this type of toy was just an observation of the three women. That’s when they decided to do the research.
Even with pretos (blacks) and pardos (browns) representing 53.6% of the Brazilian population, according to IBGE data of 2014. Nevertheless, there is little representation of this group in the commercial sphere. In recent years, however, cosmetic brands, clothing and advertising agencies have realized this flaw and that it must be represented. However, the survey revealed that only 3% of the dolls on the market are black, the study said.
Por que ter uma boneca negra? (Why have a black doll?)
The toy is a key element in the formation of the child’s identity. Thus, preference should be given to those who bring a more realistic representation of life in society. Through toys the child constructs a series of “truths” that influence her throughout life. It is therefore very important that at this stage she has contact with toys that reflect the multiplicity of society and fosters representativeness.
I am not yet a mother, but one day I plan to be and I want my children to have contact with black dolls, as I believe it is an important step in building self-esteem and, consequently, acceptance of being black, of feeling good, happy, without needing to fit into the standard of beauty imposed by society.
Therefore, we will present all the children, regardless of their ethnicity, with black dolls. As Mandela said ‘no child is born hating’. And with that, we are helping to construct a country that respects diversity. Think about it!
A strong embrace!
Source: Top Buzz@EvillynRegis
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