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August 31, 2015

Help bringing true diversity to the toy aisle!

type: Crowd Funding
by: Deniz Zehra Tavli

Yelitsa Jean-Charles is a children's illustrator from the Rhode Island School of Design. Growing up, she suffered from many insecurities about her skin color and hair texture. She was often told that in order to be beautiful one had to have long, flowing hair or fair skin. Not seeing many girls like her in the media didn't help these issues. Today, only 8% of children's books have main characters of color, but about 50% of children in the USA are of color.

These numbers don't add up. 

That's why she created Healthy Roots to fill that void. Internalized racism and colorism stem from mainstream beauty standards that exclude women of color. The pressure that girls feel to appeal to mainstream beauty standards impacts their self esteem, leading them to use dangerous chemicals like perms and bleaching creams to become "beautiful".

Healthy Roots teaches girls of color self-love through education, diversity, and positive representation. If the toys we play with influence how we perceive ourselves, imagine the kind of impact we can have with a toy that aims to inspire and empower.

Support Yelitsa in her creative and critical attempt to change girls' perceptions of their appearance and abandon beauty-standards which do not represent real diversity!