Yes Kids Need To See Characters Who Look Like Them

by Alison Bucalo
Originally Published: 

When you think of mermaids, you think of a half-human, half-fish mystical woman with a long tail, full red hair and… white skin. Seventy five percent of characters in kids cartoons are white. Does this have an effect on our children who don’t have white skin?

Patricia, a mother of three, says that her daughter has had moments where she’s said, “I wish I had white skin… and blonde hair.” Patricia, like any mother, just wants her children to be proud of who they are.

And that’s why Lynette Abbott is this episode’s I Am Scary Mommy. She noticed that party supplies of mermaids or pirates were all white children. So, Lynette decided to start her own party supply company for children called Craft My Occasion. Lynette’s party supply company is more than just for parties –she wants her supplies to be a tool for parents to instill confidence and pride in their children of color.

Lynette crowdfunded $20,000 for her first mermaid design. She added pirates and next up for Lynette? Superhero supplies for boys and girls of color because as Lynette says, “they should feel super, because they are.”

Lynette’s paper plates might get thrown away after the party, but that doesn’t take away from the lasting impact those plates have. Zandras, a father of three, says, “it shows children and kids of color that they can be just as great.”

And at the end of the day, parties are a celebration of life and we should do that more often.

Thank you, Lynette!

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