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Outland Magazine Feature: Not Your Asian Barbie Doll

In a world where representation matters more than ever, we, Joeydolls, are on a mission to break stereotypes and promote cultural diversity through our unique line of soft dolls. In a heartwarming article by Andrea Yip for Outland Magazine, our journey from a Chinese-Canadian wedding photographer to a trailblazing entrepreneur is beautifully detailed, shedding light on why Joeydolls is a breath of fresh air in the world of dolls and creating more Asian representation in toys.

Challenges Faced During the Pandemic

“Not your Asian Barbie doll,” our article’s title itself encapsulates the essence of what Joeydolls stands for. It begins with a poignant reflection on the challenges we faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit our photography business hard. Amidst the economic turmoil, a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes created an atmosphere of fear and hostility. We, driven by a desire to counteract this negativity, embarked on a quest to find toys celebrating the rich tapestry of Asian cultures. However, we were disheartened to find a lack of representation within the Asian community itself. This led to the birth of Joeydolls to create  more Asian representation in toys.

The Motivation Behind Joeydolls

Our motivation stems from our personal experience of growing up without seeing ourselves represented in media and toys. We emphasize that Asians are not a monolithic group, and the dolls in the market often fail to capture the diversity within the Asian community. Traditional dolls, with their straight hair and stereotypical features, have perpetuated unrealistic standards for decades. Joeydolls aims to change that by offering dolls that are not only culturally representative but also free from harmful stereotypes. This is why Samantha thought it was so important to create more accurate Asian representation in toys.

Overcoming Challenges and Celebrating Diversity

Starting Joeydolls came with its share of challenges, from budget constraints to sourcing materials. Our determination prevailed as we recognized the beauty in the diversity of Asian skin tones. Our collection of soft dolls dressed in traditional garments reflects this commitment to showcasing the richness of Asian cultures.

Empowering Future Generations

Our mission goes beyond creating dolls; it’s about shaping the minds of future generations. Research shows that children can notice racial differences as early as 10 years old, which underscores the importance of providing diverse toys from a young age. We hope that Joeydolls will allow children to see themselves and others represented in their playtime, fostering a sense of pride and awareness of diversity.

Challenging Mainstream Dolls

Joeydolls stands in stark contrast to the limited representation provided by mainstream dolls. While other dolls may cater to older children, we believe that it’s never too early to introduce cultural diversity into a child’s life. By offering soft, huggable, and relatable dolls, Joeydolls aims to make a positive impact on young minds, challenging stereotypes and promoting self-esteem.

A “Full-Circle” Moment

One of the most significant achievements of Joeydolls is the “full-circle” moment we experienced with our own daughter. Seeing our daughter embrace a Korean doll as a princess was a testament to the power of representation. By allowing children to identify with dolls that look like them, Joeydolls is empowering them to take pride in their cultural backgrounds.

Making a Meaningful Impact

Our dolls have touched the lives of many. From families with adopted children seeking resources to help them connect with their heritage to adults healing from their own childhoods, Joeydolls is making a meaningful impact. It’s a testament to the deep-seated need for representation and cultural pride.

Embracing Diversity: How We, Joeydolls, are Changing the Narrative

In conclusion, Joeydolls is not just a doll-making business; it’s a movement to change the narrative surrounding Asian representation in toys. Our dedication to celebrating cultural diversity and challenging stereotypes is an inspiration to us all. As we move forward, let’s celebrate the beauty of our differences and embrace the idea that there is more to people than the stereotypes imposed by society. Joeydolls is a beacon of hope, paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive future.

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