A little girl in California was just given the most special Christmas gift — a gift her mum was so excited about that she couldn't even wait until Christmas to give it to her.
Katie Crenshaw, who runs a parenting blog called Typical Katie, wrote in a now viral Facebook post that she commissioned a special doll for her daughter Charlie, who was born with a birthmark on her face.
"As Charlie's mom, I have always been outspoken about her facial defect (infantile hemangioma), and advocated for acceptance and awareness," Crenshaw wrote. But she said that up until recently Charlie wasn't even aware that there was anything different about her, probably because she was too young to notice. Since her daughter is beginning to realize that her facial birthmark makes her different, Crenshaw wanted Charlie to have a friend who looks like her. That's where Little Plain Jane dolls came in.
Crenshaw contacted the shop, which is run by doll maker Kayla Baker, and asked her to make one that looks like Charlie — birthmark included.
"Not only did she agree to make a custom doll for Charlie, she offered it as a gift, no strings attached," Crenshaw wrote.
Baker asked for a photo of Charlie as well as information about how she likes to wear her hair, what her favorite clothes are, and what type of shoes she wears.
"When she finished, I could not believe how detailed the doll's birthmark was, and how much it looked exactly like Charlie!" Crenshaw wrote. She couldn't even wait until Christmas day to give her daughter the doll, and Charlie's reaction made the early gift worth it.
"When I gave the doll to Charlie, her eyes lit up — she immediately touched her cheek and smiled," Crenshaw wrote. She hasn't put the doll down since, and named her Princess Cheek.
As Charlie's reaction shows, it's important for kids to have toys that look like them — whether that means Black children being able to play with Black dolls, children who have disabilities seeing themselves in a stuffed animal that looks like them, or kids with vitiligo seeing a representation of their skin in their toys.
Refinery29 has reached out to both Crenshaw and Baker and will update this post when we receive responses.
Read these stories next: