Now Playing Tracks


As I’m walking through Target with my little sister, the kid somehow manages to convince me to take a trip down the doll aisle. I know the type - brands that preach diversity through displays of nine different variations of white and maybe a black girl if you’re lucky enough. What I instead found as soon as I turned into the aisle were these two boxes.

The girl on the left is Shola, an Afghani girl from Kabul with war-torn eyes. Her biography on the inside flap tells us that “her country has been at war since before she was born”, and all she has left of her family is her older sister. They’re part of a circus, the one source of light in their lives, and they read the Qur’an. She wears a hijab.

The girl on the right is Nahji, a ten-year-old Indian girl from Assam, where “young girls are forced to work and get married at a very early age”. Nahji is smart, admirable, extremely studious. She teaches her fellow girls to believe in themselves. In the left side of her nose, as tradition mandates, she has a piercing. On her right hand is a henna tattoo.

As a Pakistani girl growing up in post-9/11 America, this is so important to me. The closest thing we had to these back in my day were “customizable” American Girl dolls, who were very strictly white or black. My eyes are green, my hair was black, and my skin is brown, and I couldn’t find my reflection in any of those girls. Yet I settled, just like I settled for the terrorist jokes boys would throw at me, like I settled for the butchered pronunciations of names of mine and my friends’ countries. I settled for a white doll, who at least had my eyes if nothing else, and I named her Rabeea and loved her. But I still couldn’t completely connect to her.

My little sister, who had been the one to push me down the aisle in the first place, stopped to stare with me at the girls. And then the words, “Maybe they can be my American Girls,” slipped out of her mouth. This young girl, barely represented in today’s society, finally found a doll that looks like her, that wears the weird headscarf that her grandma does and still manages to look beautiful.

I turned the dolls’ boxes around and snapped a picture of the back of Nahji’s. There are more that I didn’t see in the store; a Belarusian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, a Laotian, a Native American, a Mexican. And more.

These are Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, and while they haven’t yet reached all parts of the world (I think they have yet to come out with an East Asian girl), they need all the support they can get so we can have a beautiful doll for every beautiful young girl, so we can give them what our generation never had.

Please don’t let this die. If you know a young girl, get her one. I know I’m buying Shola and Nahji for my little sister’s next birthday, because she needs a doll with beautiful brown skin like hers, a doll who wears a hijab like our older sister, a doll who wears real henna, not the blue shit white girls get at the beach.

The Hearts 4 Hearts girls are so important. Don’t overlook them. Don’t underestimate them. These can be the future if we let them.

You can read more about the dolls here:








Best lesson from a Disney movie

This is an underrated movie

This is a grossly underrated movie.

Can I take a minute to rant? Good. Cuz I’m gonna.

I FLOVE this movie. And I HATE all the stupid hatred it gets. For a long time the buzz was “finally a black princess yay!” and now everyone is like “Fuck this movie, first black princess and she spends the whole movie a frog.”

You know what? Fuck that. Because Ariel spent a good majority of the movie not talking. Mulan spent the majority of the move pretending to be a man. Aurora and Snow White? Asleep (Hardly in the movie at all). They’re all just plot devices, not designed to take away from the traits of the women. 

And you know what else? Unlike some of the other princesses, Tiana is in control of her destiny every step of the way. When she turns into the frog does she lose hope and need rescuing? Hell naw. She busts Naveen over the head and gets the job done. She is consistently responsible and capable even after having her dreams crushed and turning into a freaking frog. 

So don’t tell me that Tiana is “less than” just because she gets turned into a frog. She’s still one of the most hardworking, badass, and capable chicks in animated history and I love her like crazy cakes. 

the end. 

wait no one was actually mad at the movie but at the creators for the making of the story being revolved around the fact that it was a black princess who spent most of her time as animal. cause unlike the other princesses they spent their time as a FUCKING HUMAN!!!!!!!

Both commentaries are good. I feel that the creators, knowing how historic and important movie having a black princess, should have made a story where she was human! However, despite that political fuckery that took place, it is still a phenomenal movie

I’ve said this literally every time this photoset has come on my dash and I will keep saying it: I would just like everyone who constantly, uncritically praises this movie because Tiana is so hardworking and bad ass to stop and think for a moment about why it is that Disney chose the film with the first Black princess to break away from the traditional Disney narrative and send the message “you won’t get a fairy godmother, you have to work hard to achieve your dreams”. Why now, with this particular movie, with this particular Princess? 

My problems with this movie go a lot deeper than just ire at the fact that the first Black princess spent most of her movie as an animal, though that is certainly worthy of criticism. (After all, in her human form, she wasn’t allowed to have natural hair either, meanwhile people fall over themselves to praise Pixar for lovingly animating every ginger curl on some white girl’s head.)

Telling girls that they have to work hard to achieve their dreams is a good message. Girls having control over their own destiny is a good message. Girls of all races and ethnicities can benefit from hearing this. But these messages can’t be divorced from the reality of oppressive expectations for Black women and how we specifically experience racialized sexism in a kyriarchal society. They can’t be divorced from the way that Black women are specifically expected to shoulder our own burdens, are not allowed to dream too much or be too carefree. And we are expected to do this by everyone—white folks, Black folks (esp. Black men), everybody of every persuasion. Black women are told from the moment we are born, by our parents and by the world, that we have to work three times as hard to be half as successful, that toil is our lot in life, and not to expect a damn bit of help with any of these burdens. Not only that, we are told we have to shoulder everyone else’s burdens, too. And we can’t have a moment of complaint or vulnerability, we have to be Strong Black Women at all times. Some of us have our dreams literally beaten out of us by parents who fear for us—they crush us before the world can do it, for our own good. Dreams and whimsy are specifically not for us as Black women, we can’t “afford” to have those things, and we certainly can’t afford to dream of being swept off our feet by Prince Charming, not in a world that denigrates and denies our beauty and desirability as women worthy of love and romantic companionship at every turn, hypersexualizing us as animalistic exotic Jezebels and de-sexualizing us as Mammies by turns.

Why is it that the first Black princess is the one who is saddled with a lazy man-child that she has to whip into shape for a prince?

And these are things that are never ever ever told to white girls, not in a million years, because they are placed on pedestals, they are told to expect Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet. The very fact that this movie is specifically set in the real world and grounded firmly in real history as opposed to a fantasy mashup only inspired by various times and places like every white Princess movie was a deliberate choice, make no mistake. It was about denying Black girls a fairytale princess like Cindy or Aurora or Ariel. Dreams and whimsy and fantastic flights of fancy are not for us. Even Tiana’s requisite cute animal sidekick died.

And in the very end, how did Tiana actually achieve her dream? It wasn’t even through all the hard work and toil and struggle that the movie kept harping on as being the way to go for her. It wasn’t even though the closest thing to a fairy godmother the movie gave us, in Mama Odie. In the end, it was through the benevolence of a rich, spoiled white woman who took pity on her.

I’m not saying don’t like the movie. It’s a good movie in a lot of ways—the animation is beautiful, the songs are amazing (esp. Mama Odie’s song), the characters are great, and it’s got way more emotional punch than most Disney movies. Tiana is truly an amazing character and one of my favorite Disney Princesses. I love Naveen, flaws and all, and I felt like their romance was probably the best one out of all of them because it felt the most genuine, even with my problems with it. And just the fact that Black children, particularly Black girls, finally have a princess to call their own and be included means the absolute world to me. All my younger relatives have PatF everything, by design, because I want them to be able to see themselves in the stories they love the way I never could when I was coming up, and my generation of Black girls had to adopt Jasmine because she was The Brown One and we figured she would be the closest thing we would ever get. I’m not saying don’t love Tiana and what she means, or don’t love the movie.

What I’m saying is think about this movie on more than just a “yay Tiana is so badass” type of level, think about what mindset went along with the message (again, a message crafted by a white corporation). What might appear on the surface to be a wholly positive message really isn’t when you look at it on a deeper level, and you place this film in its proper historical context of media messages sent about and to Black women and girls—particularly when juxtaposed against the historical context of media messages sent about and to white women and girls.

You can enjoy and appreciate the movie for what it means, especially to little black girls, while still criticizing it for the undertones of misogynoir lurking under the pretty surface. You can love Tiana while recognizing that she is a product of a society that believes Black women only exist to work hard, carry everyone around them, and then die.




Just your daily reminders:

  • Racists are a problem
  • White people are not
  • Homophobes are a problem
  • Straight people are not
  • Transphobes are a problem
  • Cis people are not
  • Sexists are a problem
  • Men are not

And most importantly,

  • Hating an innocent person solely because of their race, sexuality, or gender makes you a fucking asshole

Just some actual daily reminders:

  • All white people do racist things without being aware they are
  • All straight people do homophobic things without being aware that they are.
  • All Cis people do transphobic things without being aware that they are.
  • All men do sexist things without being aware that they are.
  • Saying things like ‘some men’, ‘some cis people’ absolves the blame of individuals and only seeks to comfort those with privilege and power.
  • When a post says ‘some X’, the X will always assume that they are not because THEY ARE NOT AWARE.

And most importantly,

  • It’s called metonymy, when anyone who is oppressed makes an exasperated statement like ‘i hate straight people’, they are substituting straight people for the concept of a system and a culture that teaches, incentives, and legitimizes homophobic acts and normalizes homophobic acts so that straight people constantly do honophobic things without realizing it and that’s really fucking annoying.

And just as important,

  • The concept of sjws dehumanizes marginalized people and categorizes them as an ‘angry and emotional’ stereotype and only adds to the oppression of marginalized people under the guise of being ‘fair’, while the only thing you are doing is cushioning privileged people from their own ignorance and privilege.

And to finalize:

  • Everyone is guilty of internalized -isms, and the longer you spend denying this instead of accepting and unlearning your thought patterns and behavior, the longer you will actually be part of the problem.

(Source: egalitarianyellowfang)

We make Tumblr themes