Dolls can play a big part in the self esteem of young children. If they see a toy that looks like them, it can make them feel more accepting of who they are. For kids (and even adults) that have vitiligo, this is a challenge. Vitiligo is a common disease that causes the loss of pigment on certain parts of the body. While not life threatening, it can affect a person’s confidence, and they might be subjected to taunts or bullying. Kay Black, aka Kay Customz, is an artist encouraging those with vitiligo to be proud of who they are; she’s doing so through inclusive custom dolls that have the same condition.
Each of Black’s girls has a different personality, but the artist takes the same approach when creating them. Using paint, Black adorns their faces and hands with lighter-colored markings commonly associated with vitiligo. The beautiful dolls, rocking colorful attire, are no different than any other toy—with the exception of their two-toned skin. Through this one difference, however, Black sends a powerful message of self-acceptance—that the thing that makes someone different is also what makes them special.
“I love what I do,” she writes, “and take pride in each custom design!” She sells her work through her online shop and shares her newest creations on Instagram.