Why I designed these wall decals to inspire positive self image among Black children
We all talk about it. From the entertainment industry, to the board room, to children’s games and toys, there is in an ongoing conversation about the need for more black representation. Without representation, the stories and contributions of many black people go unheard and dismissed, creating both a false narrative and sense of reality about the black community. This lack of representation could also greatly impact the lives of black children and cause them to grow up second guessing their intellect and beauty.
Unfortunately, this hit home a few years ago when my daughter questioned her self-image in a way that broke my heart. At 3 years old, she wanted to know why her hair and skin didn’t look like the white TV characters, or like her white counterparts at school and church. She asked if her skin tone could change and wondered if I could miraculously adjust the thickness, color and texture of her hair. In that moment, I had a rude awakening; I truly realized that I had underestimated the impact that the media and her surroundings had on my very young impressionable child.
My husband and I decided to tackle this head on, by constantly affirming my daughter’s beauty, teaching her more about self-love, and being more aware of TV shows she watched. In an effort to also help affirm other black children and support parents, we launched a line of black-inspired wall decals, with a mission to creatively affirm and inspire black children through their walls. Our decals reflect positive, successful and creative images of black people. The images in our products range in skin complexion, hair types, and even occupation. From doctors and lawyers, to athletes and public service workers, light and dark brown hues, kinky and wavy hair, our decals celebrate the range of black beauty.
Recently, we released our new decal, Political Powerhouse for Girls, which was inspired by the historic win of Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris and all the amazing black women who continue to lead in the political arena. This decal celebrates their success and teaches black children that they, too, can be the next Vice-President or any type of politician they choose, if they work hard and apply themselves!
Overall, our goal is to instill pride, self love and confidence into black children. Our wall decals are a fun way to provide subtle daily reminders of affirmation and encouragement to help black children reach their goals, especially as we continue to spend more time in our homes under quarantine!
This holiday season, we encourage you to consider our products when shopping for the beautiful black children in your lives. With the racial strife that continues to plague our nation, combined with general lack of representation, it’s critical that our kids feel confident, proud and special, because they are!
Cynthia Jackson is the founder of Tiny Tots & Tikes and a pastor based in the Atlanta area.