Beauty & Style, Profiles

Haitian Entrepreneur Yelitsa Jean-Charles Teaches Self-Love with Natural Hair Doll

The natural hair doll collection partners with P&G’s My Black is Beautiful hair care line this Christmas

Yelitsa Jean-Charles

By Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien

In 2001, a seven-year-old Yelitsa Jean-Charles could barely contain her excitement to open her gifts Christmas Day. Like most girls, she adored dolls and was anticipating the new ones she would add to her collection. But when she was handed her doll that year, she bursted into tears. 

The doll was black. 

A black Barbie, in particular. To her, it wasn’t “the real Barbie.” It wasn’t “the pretty one.”

“I cried when I received a black doll as a child because of how I had been socialized to view beauty, as influenced by media and our society,” Jean-Charles said. 

Jean-Charles’ experience with the black Barbie doll made a mark on her life and influenced her to make a positive change in the lives of girls to come. She created Healthy Roots Dolls to help other little girls learn to love their curls and see themselves in their dolls. The first doll of the collection is Zoe, whose hair is made of a fiber meant to feel like human hair. With each purchase of a Zoe doll, P&G will offer free products from their My Black is Beautiful hair care line, as well as a kids shirt.

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Dec. 23, 2019