I came across “My Muse Dolls” via an article published on Bust Magazine’s website. I usually trust Bust Magazine to provide up-to-date, feminist-y content, so I read more. My Muse Dolls (trademarked tagline: “I am beautiful.”) is a new “socially-minded company,” founded in 2015 by four women of color, which creates multicultural 18-inch dolls. Keywords essay on “Multicultural” argues that the term is often associated with a rhetoric of “tolerance,” and further establishes an “other.” However, this company seems to be using it to literally mean “of multiple cultures,” as evidenced by their “featured dolls.”
This company actually seems fantastic:
Our ultimate wish is: For every girl to see her beauty. For every girl to seize her dream.™
As such, My Muse exists to:
Inspire Pride: We create high-quality products that heighten esteem in personal beauty while celebrating the diversity and varying representations of beauty worldwide
Ignite Choice: We develop childhood personas and promote real women and girls to exemplify and normalize high achievement in academic and professional aspirations.
Institute Change: We support financially transformational organizations and projects which align with our vision of empowered girls worldwide.
Additionally, the dolls are slightly more affordable than American Girl dolls ($79.99 compared to $120), making them accessible to a wider population. The customizable dolls are available in three skin tones (light, medium, and dark), and three hair styles (bob, curly, and wavy, all dark hair). I imagine that as the company grows, they might expand to include more shades and customizable features. It is incredibly important for children to see representations of themselves in toys and other forms of media. In The Bluest Eye, we saw how damaging it was for Claudia to only see Shirley Temple and white dolls. My Muse Dolls specifically says that one of their goals in creating the company was to “design a beautiful doll that would make girls of diverse backgrounds proud of what they saw in the mirror.”