Demographic Quandry

When we were in St. Louis of Christmas, I had a sudden panic when I realized I had failed in my Santa duties to get ANYTHING for Violet. Sure, she doesn’t technically need anything because she’s only 7 months old and she has two big sisters worth of toys and clothes, but I know Lily and Rose would be pissed at Santa if he forgot their favorite baby.

Being Santa is rough, isn’t it? I thought I’d enjoy it more, but it’s actually a huge pain in the ass. I just bought the girls eight Hanukkah nights worth of presents and I’m expected to do what now? I mean, I don’t even get mom-credit from them for the awesome things Santa brings. Some imaginary guy gets all the brownie points. Not to mention it’s really hard to hide presents during a road trip. My cover is so going to get blown soon. Why am I even doing the Santa thing? I’m Jewish! And my husband recently informed me that he doesn’t think his parents did Santa for him. If they had done Santa, I’m sure he’d have some memory of it. I only started this Santa thing because I figured if we were going to celebrate Christmas with my husband’s family that we should do the fun part, but the fun part hasn’t been all that fun so far!

Anyway, on my last minute Santa mission, I was determined to find Violet a Tiana baby doll. Rose said Violet needed a baby Tiana doll since Rose and Lily have baby Cinderella and baby Aurora.

The Walmart in St. Louis did not have baby Tiana. Instead, they had something way better that I didn’t even know existed. I had never ever seen it before in the store and I’ve been to the toy sections of pretty much every Target, Walmart and Toys R Us in the greater Toledo area. They had a baby Mulan doll.

Baby Mulan was a huge hit with all three girls, and not just because they were excited to have a doll that was Asian like them. In fact, I don’t think that the Asian thing even registered with them. They were just happy to have another Disney princess baby.

Why don’t the stores in Northwest Ohio have baby Mulans? I suspect I was able to find her in St. Louis because there are almost 3 times as many Asians living there. St. Louis’s population of 319,294 people was 2.9% Asian in the 2010 census, while Toledo’s population of 287,128 was 1% Asian. EDIT: Checking more specifically, the St. Louis suburban area where we were shopping was 6-7% Asian. So I wonder, do they only stock Mulan dolls where they know there are Asians around to buy them? Do they think populations of mostly white kids don’t want baby Mulan dolls?

I don’t have conclusive proof and can’t find anything on the internet to support I am right about this, but based on how many stores I’ve been to locally I can’t help to think this is what’s happening.

My kids may be half Asian, but I am white and I can tell you with certainty that I and most of my friends growing up would have wanted a baby Disney princess from each and every movie, regardless of that princess’s race. It makes me sad that the little girls in my area aren’t even given the opportunity to shop for this doll in stores. Sure, everything is available on the internet, but most of us still find out what our kids want for holidays and birthdays by taking them to the toy store. There’s usually no reason to use the internet for toys.

Let’s make all the princesses available in all the stores, not just the stores with the appealing racial demographics.



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5 Responses to Demographic Quandry

  1. Pingback: Asian Babies on the Cheap | Creative Kids Play

  2. I live in St. Louis, which is a pretty diverse city. I wanted to buy a black baby doll for my black baby cousin, so I headed to Target at Christmas. No black baby dolls. No black Disney dolls. No black Barbie dolls. Plenty of white dolls but no black dolls at all. Needless to say, no brown dolls either. I finally ordered one from the Pottery Barn Kids catalog but I was surprised by the lack of ready availability.

    • It’s really upsetting how hard it is to find minority dolls. I’ve been finding less and less diversity in the doll departments these days… you’d think there’d be more considering the rising prevalence of biracial kids, not to mention regular minorities.

  3. jen

    Just went to toys r us cause my 5 year old girl (who is caucasian) requested a brown skinned baby doll. 100′s of dolls. HUNDREDS. Not one single baby that wasn’t pink. Man! And how much worse would I feel if my kid HAD brown skin, and literally couldn’t buy a doll that looked like it was “her” baby. Actually, I’m pretty darn mad either way. lol It’s just dumb. The dolls should be a variety. You know…it doesn’t have to be the united damn nations, but 3 or 4 complexion options would be nice.

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