Promo for The Little Mermaid and The Masjid Kamal Loves is pretty much over, so I get a little break. What are my plans? To treat myself just a little bit–likely in the form of a movie. Personally, I cannot wait for the Barbie movie to come out. July 21st cannot come fast enough!

My grandma had her stories, and I had my Barbies. Baby, they had some chaos going on in their lives! When they weren’t mimicking the drama of the soap operas I overheard, my Barbies helped me to rehash conversations I had at school or wish I’d had. Talking to people has never been my strength, so this was partially how I learned to converse and “people.”

I’m old enough to remember Barbie being the it toy. I’m also old enough to remember when Barbie came under heavy scrutiny for her unrealistic proportions and for causing body image issues in some.

Here’s the thing: Barbie never made me feel bad about myself. I was a short, fat, Black girl. Yet, no amount of Barbie advertising made me feel othered. There were plenty of non-toy-related things I could turn to for that!

I have my mom to thank for that (the not feeling othered part of this whole thing).

Why? It’s simple. My mom only bought me brown and Black Barbies. Why?

In her own words, “because they matched you. I didn’t have Black dolls. So, when I saw something that was representing us, as much as they were representing us at that time, I thought that was amazing. I didn’t have that.”

While there is certainly no parenting handbook, I’d like to take a page out of my mom’s book for sure when it comes to helping my children feel seen and represented. In actuality, I believe I may already have. I started writing for this very reason. It’s truly amazing how so many things from out childhood can shape who we are and the goals we seek. Thanks, Mom.