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Nicole Updegraff is an author, illustrator and graphic artist who believes the greatest gift you can give a child is that of absolute self love and acceptance. Inspired four years ago by her 3yr old daughter's heartbreaking, teary-eyed plea for "straight & yellow" hair, she wrote and illustrated "I LOVE my Cotton Candy Hair!" A story about loving yourself just the way you are! Now, this married mother of four, yes FOUR, owns and operates Cotton Candy Playground- a multifaceted collection of children's books, apparel and stationery which - you guessed it- focuses on self love, acceptance, individuality and diversity. Check her out at www.cottoncandyhair.com.
Karen Byrd is a Californian Business woman that has started a new business customizing dolls to have ethnic inspired hair styles. The business is called Natural Girls United and the website is naturalgirlsunited.com. The Natural Girls United! is something that I hope will help to bring a positive view of what ethnic beauty is. There is a serious need for our young girls to be able to have dolls that look like them. If a child is constantly looking at images, dolls, television, books and magazines - and only seeing beauty as something or someone with non-ethnic features and long, straight hair - then they are going to assume that this is what beauty is. Each day we learn that it is important to show them and teach them that their beauty is beautiful.” - KarenByrd
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