For children who are sadly born with deformities and disabilities, the world can be a pretty tough place. But one woman has made it her mission to make sure all children feel accepted no matter what they look like…
If a child looks a little different from their peers, they are more likely to be divided from the group.
It’s a sad reality that some children, from very young ages, hold a cruel streak.
And how is she doing that?
The thirty-nine-year-old mom from the UK is a medical radiation technologist, but after hours, she designs dolls for children who suffer from a variety of disabilities.
Helping children to accept their differences.
Tawell sells her altered dolls on her Etsy shop, BrightEars.
They really are the perfect Christmas gift.
While others have limb differences or insulin pumps. She can do pretty much anything!
Tawell’s Etsy shop is full to the brim with all kinds of dolls perfect for young children.
“We still live in a world that puts great emphasis on ‘being normal,’ so if you have a physical/visible difference you are often made to feel abnormal,” she said.
“To a child, this can really affect their self-confidence and esteem. When they go into a toy shop and see dolls with all ‘normal’ features, it only strengthens the feeling of not belonging or feeling like the odd one out. I want to change that.”
Admitting it isn’t easy as most manufacturers don’t cater to “different” appearances.
“When I adapt dolls, I need to be able to take them apart so that I can safely attach devices, and a lot of the available dolls do not allow me to do this. It is very much an ongoing process to increase the diversity of dolls offered at BrightEars.”
Making them all by hand after she gets home from work.
Her Etsy page is brimming with positive comments.
“The doll is so cute, and the hearing aids are PERFECT! My 4-year-old loves her baby, and it made her want to wear her hearing aids more since she and ‘baby’ match.”
She has 2 daughters, 8-year-old Evelyn and 4-year-old Matilda, who has to wear hearing aids.
“I became really disheartened when I couldn’t find a doll or any toy with hearing aids,” Tawell shared. “It felt to me that society didn’t deem her important and therefore she shouldn’t be ‘acknowledged.'”
Modifying her very fist doll with hearing aids.
Tawell said her daughter touched the dolls’ ears then her own.
And as she grew, more and more people discovered her.
With moms from the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) asking to buy her dolls.
“I would love for children in the future to be able to go into a shop and see dolls with hearing aids and cleft lips next to the regular dolls, because then it makes it normal, not different,” Tawell continued. “When people see these dolls, it can open up a dialogue and increase awareness and understanding of these differences.”
This is exactly what 2020 needed. Take a look at all the dolls available on her Etsy shop here.
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