Mia had never seen a doll that she could relate to. As a child with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, she never felt like she could relate to the toys and books marketed to little girls. She didn’t have any hair, while the dolls around her had long, flowing, curly locks in all shapes and colors.
One Christmas, she received a gift that absolutely blew her away…it as a doll that didn’t have any hair, either! Her mother, Meredith, knew that Mia had wanted a doll, but she had no idea how very attached her daughter would become once she had a doll that was just like her! It changed her life. Meredith had always wanted her daughter to value being healthy and strong over the way that she looked. She wanted Mia to be confident in herself, and having this doll helped in a way that Meredith couldn’t.
They took a trip to the American Girl store, and were shocked to see that the company had finally included little dolls without hair into their main displays! These bald dolls weren’t hidden in the back or available only after someone asked to see them. The dolls were doing everyday things, just like Mia!
Parents and women with the disease are ecstatic about the move because it means that other children will be able to understand and be more accepting as they grow older. They won’t see children like Mia as strange, they will see her as a fun little girl who likes to play and loves to be outdoors.
Meredith posted this picture, thanking the company on Facebook, and thousands of parents have chimed in. The decision to display these dolls helps to bring up the subject for children who don’t have the disease, and helps the ones who do to feel accepted and valued for who they are as people!