Originally Posted by Lovesong
I think if your daughter is not subjected to a lot of outside influences (which she doesn't seem to be) it might just so happen that it is a natural preference for her. Much like some people prefer the colour blue and others like hot pink the best. I wouldn't worry. As long as she grows up with a healthy self image, liking who she is, nothing else matters. Give her the blonde dolls if she prefers those. I don't think it is any more harmful than letting her wear green, if that happens to be her favourite colour. Or buying her peaches rather than apples when in season, because she prefers those. Tastes differ. They do not need to be a sign of future problems. Besides...tastes change.
Things have changed. When I was small, ALL the heroines in the fairy tales where white, if not blond. T.V. cartoons had girls with blond, red and dark hair, but they were still all white.
Today, there is far more diversity in popular culture, especially for children.
I interpreted my dd's preference for blond hair as a compliment to ME. But now she picks up a doll with dark hair, perhaps skin as well, without comment. My kids watch T.V. shows with kids of all colors. This has been a really positive change. The long term goal is to relate to and identify with, people of different backgrounds. This is exposure even to kids who don't come in regular contact with other groups.
Did she prefer blond dolls because she wants to be blond? Because it reminds her of me? Because she thinks globally blond girls are prettier? It's a tough call!
It bothered me as a blond child from a dark family, when people would compliment my looks. My sister and cousins were as pretty, if not more than I was. Were they really complimenting my looks or just the fact I was light colored and was not an obvious example of my background?? So this preference is really a no-win situation for all little girls, no matter what they look like.
Maybe the blond doll had a prettier face (irrespective of color)?
While it's annoying that a store doesn't have the selection you want, in anything really, it could just be they ran out of the un-blond dolls! But it's good you mentioned it. Perhaps they'll take note and stock accordingly, even if only to look more "politically correct".
I've heard in a long-ago anthropology class that pretty much every society elevated light-skinned individuals of whatever race they were. The lighter the skin the higher the status.
I learned this in college too but here was their reasoning (I went to a minority-white university with a VERY diverse student body); Dark skin was always associated with working outside, in the fields, in other words, manual labor. The rich lived inside, away from the sun. The skin color instantly identified social standing, and this was interpreted as a standard of beauty.
You could carry this theory on further; lighter people who stayed indoors aged slower. A higher social caste meant they probably ate better, had better teeth, took more care with their hair and clothes... So it wasn't even an instant light-prettier evaluation. Richer folks who didn't venture out probably really did look better than poor people laboring in the fields, skin color ending up one of the lesser reasons.
Weight, by contrast, has not been as consistent. Plump girls have been seen as prettier, while in other societies and eras, skinny was (is) preferred. It's obvious that our beauty appreciation is heavily influenced by other factors.
There was some reversal with the Industrial Revolution. Manual laborers moved indoors, away from the sun. The rich had time to sit by the pool, so a tan was desirable. BUT this was limited, and really only followed by white people in certain parts. In other areas of the world, the light complexion is still considered the beauty standard.
So we don't have a real biological affinity towards lighter coloring but rather it's a result of the structure of our society. I found that kind of a relief! Hope you do too...