Ideas of beauty are directly affected by cultural factors that typically influence the way young children and adults view themselves. Through the reinforcement of dominant beauty standards, people of color have been taught to dislike certain aspects of who they are both internally and externally.

Children as young as three show preferences for dolls that uphold eurocentric ideals of beauty ranging from the shade of their skin to the texture of their hair, something that is crucial to both Black and American history as a whole. Because of this, it has become necessary to teach young children that beauty comes in a variety of shapes and colors.

With three renowned children’s books, Director and Founder of The Culture C.O.-O.P (Caring, Optimistic, Open-Minded, People) Sandy Holman aims to do just that. She hopes to expose children to the diversity around them, with an overall mission “to promote understanding and respect for diversity/equity, cultural competency, literacy and quality education for all.”

Each book is embedded with a lesson giving children the tools necessary to deconstruct dated ideals and to learn to appreciate their differences.

Her most recent book, “Grandma Says Our Hair Has Flair,” targets young girls of African ancestry and the multifaceted aspects of their appearance. It teaches them that their hair isn’t something to be ashamed of, but is something to celebrate.

While “Grandpa is Everything Black Bad?” targets the negative connotations that are often related to the word black and darker skin in general. Reinforcing and spreading the sentiment of “loving yourself the way you are, ” a concept beneficial to our society as a whole.

For more information on The Culture C.O.-O.P. and its books, visit cultureco-op.com.

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