Mushiya Tshikuka Creates a Dark-Skinned, Kinky-Haired Doll to Reflect Beauty of Her Daughters

Mushiya Tshikuka, star of WE tv’s Cutting It in the ATL, was inspired to create a doll that reflected the natural beauty of her dark-skinned, kinky-haired daughters. In an interview with People Magazine, Tshikuka said she came up with the idea after her daughters and her eldest son suggested that she create her own doll after not having any luck finding a suitable one in stores.

“We were in the store one time and my little girls and my son were like, ‘Why don’t we just make one?’ So we did,” Tshikuka says.

The 36-year-old wanted to ensure the doll’s features reflected those of her children.

“I wanted a doll that looks like a little beautiful black girl,” she says. “I wanted to make sure her skin was dark. In our community there are so many dark-skinned girls with self-confidence issues because dark skin is frowned upon. I wanted her to have kinky hair like my daughters’. I wanted to make sure she had a nose that reflects our nose, high cheekbones and full lips.”

“It’s important for this doll to exist because it’s important that dolls represent the full spectrum of the people and the beauty that exists in our society,” says Tshikuka. “It’s important that every child can see a representation and a reflection of themselves in the dolls that they play with.”

In addition to being a doll to which black girls can relate, Tshikuka hopes it can be a learning tool for those of other races.

“My little girls are black girls who made a doll that looks like them, but this doll is not just for little black girls,” she says. “Black girls have played with white dolls for years, and they understand white hair and white skin, and it’s important for white little girls to understand the black girl, the black skin, the black hair. It’s important for everybody.”