#WeSeeYou: Artist Crystal Kay Celebrates Diverse Beauty With Custom “Vitiligo Dolls”
Gone are the days of dolls that look alike and somehow not like most of us. Today’s toys have begun to reflect diversity, reppin’ nearly every skin color, body type and physical feature represented in our everyday lives. Now, a Missouri artist, Crystal Kay, has taken it a step further, creating custom dolls with the skin condition vitiligo.
“I’m motivated by everyday people I see walking up and down the streets,” said Crystal, who sells the dolls through her brand Kay Customz. The idea was initially a hobby — making dolls and earrings — on top of working an “average job,” People reports.
Each porcelain doll is hand painted by Crystal, and can take hours or days to customize all the features. Her “vitiligo dolls” have gone viral on social media, receiving an overwhelming response from women who’ve never seen anything like this. They’ve never had a doll that looks so much like them. Crystal is proud that her work can fulfill such a great need and help others feel confident in their skin.
“There’s not a lot of reflection out there as far as various medical and skin conditions, and that’s where the ideas came from for the vitiligo, albinism, and so on,” she told Daily Mail. “The possibilities with these dolls are endless because there’s so much diversity in the world,” she added.
What is vitiligo?
“Vitiligo is a condition that causes patchy loss of skin coloring (pigmentation),” according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. “The average age of onset of vitiligo is in the mid-twenties, but it can appear at any age. It tends to progress over time, with larger areas of the skin losing pigment. Some people with vitiligo also have patches of pigment loss affecting the hair on their scalp or body.”