Woman creates custom dolls for children with disabilities

IT'S 2019 and let's face it, diversity should be the new normal.

Wonderfully, people are diverse and not everyone looks like Barbie and Ken - that would be boring and totally devoid of inclusivity.

Noticing a lack of diversity in children's toys, one woman from Wisconsin in the United States began making custom-made dolls for children who need representation.

Amy Jandrisevits, formerly a social worker in a paediatric oncology unit, once practised play therapy with dolls to assist children during their medical stays.

It was her time spent in the unit that led to the realisation that the dolls she was using represented the picture of health and the generalised idea of perfection - they didn't represent or reflect what most children actually look like.

So, she decided to do something to change the way children think.

The clever and compassionate doll maker is doing her part to change children’s’ lives by ensuring everyone is represented inclusively. Source: Facebook/A Doll Like Me.
The clever and compassionate doll maker is doing her part to change children’s’ lives by ensuring everyone is represented inclusively. Source: Facebook/A Doll Like Me.

 

“It is my heartfelt belief that dolls should look like their owners AND dolls should be available in all colours, genders, and body types.
“It is my heartfelt belief that dolls should look like their owners AND dolls should be available in all colours, genders, and body types." Source: Facebook/A Doll Like Me.

"The bigger picture is that we, as adults, do such a disservice to children with regard to representation," Ms Jandrisevits said.

"It is my heartfelt belief that dolls should look like their owners AND dolls should be available in all colours, genders, and body types."

Those with limb differences, clef pallets, albinism, birthmarks and all kinds of unique abnormalities can now have a doll that makes them feel included and accepted thanks to her passion project.

Ms Jandrisevits has shared her belief that children are incredibly impressionable with her social media fans and explains teaching children that "normal" comes in all shapes and sizes is important.

"Dolls are validating for the little people they reflect," she said.

“Don't we want these sweet little people to know that they're perfect just the way they are?” Source: Facebook/A Doll Like Me.
“Don't we want these sweet little people to know that they're perfect just the way they are?” Source: Facebook/A Doll Like Me.

 

Wonderfully, people are diverse and not everyone looks like Barbie and Ken. Source: Facebook/A Doll Like Me.
Wonderfully, people are diverse and not everyone looks like Barbie and Ken. Source: Facebook/A Doll Like Me.

Amy's page A Doll Like Me is growing in size and garnering positive attention from people all over the world.

With 7600 thousand likes on Facebook and just over 1000 follows on Instagram, it's fantastic to see her gaining support and traction for a cause truly wholesome.

Every doll is close to $100 however, Ms Jandrisevits isn't the kind of woman to deny a child a lookalike doll on the basis of their parents being unable to afford one.

Almost four years ago she created a GoFundMe page to provide dolls to children in need and was recently awarded the GoFundMe Hero award for her work.

"I am humbled and grateful and excited to keep sewing - so that kids can look into the sweet face of a doll and see their own!" Ms Jandrisevits said.


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