Model Mala Bryan began her Black doll company Malaville in 2015, and her line features four dolls of different skin tones. While three of the dolls – Mala, Malina and Mhina – are lighter skinned, one doll, Maisha, has a deeper hue. And one customer took issue with Maisha.
C. Lincoln posted a comment on YouTube saying “that one doll is a bit too dark” before assuming the imaginary fashion stylist was the “least best selling.”
A replying commentator defended the doll, pointing to Sudanese model Alek Wek’s success. Bryan responded to the screengrab on Instagram with positivity July 19. She let buyers with similar skin tones know “your black is beautiful.”
Sending lots of love to the beautiful dark skinned people out there, especially to those that share the same complexion as our #MaishaDoll just know that your black is beautiful, this comment really touched me today and I just needed to share it on here as well. Hopefully it will help us spread some extra love around. x MB #Repost @malabryan with @repostapp ・・・ So this comment was made about my #MaishaDoll. I was thinking about just ignoring it but I'm sharing just so that people realize that our super dark people must still be facing a huge problem. This is just sad. Although I got a compliment at the end, the person had the nerve to talk about her being the least selling when she actually my second best selling. Ugh!
“Sending lots of love to the beautiful dark skinned people out there, especially to those that share the same complexion as our #MaishaDoll,” Bryan wrote. “Hopefully, it will help us spread some extra love around.”
Many backed the fashion star – who also shared the screenshot on Facebook and revealed that the deep-toned doll is her second best seller behind Mala.
Kai Guest thanked Bryan for calling out C. Lincoln’s ignorance.
User @digitaliceblast said of all four girls, Maisha is “the most beautiful doll ever made.”
Dee Dee pointed to internalized racism and colorism as the source of C. Lincoln’s stance.
And @so_natural_ro shared she followed the Malaville Toys account because of Maisha’s beauty.
On Facebook, the feedback was equally supportive.
Lila Moosa encouraged Bryan to continue making the toy.
Juliana Marques said Maisha was her first choice purchase of all four Malaville dolls.
C. Lincoln’s comment was not the first time someone has taken issue with the toy. In January, Bryan posted a message featuring the Maisha doll, saying some wanted it removed from stores, claiming “no black person is of this skin tone.”
The creator defended the doll saying, “my dark chocolate beauty ain’t going no where!” before adding “she’s a beauty and I love my baby girl.”