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Teen Creates Dolls For Children With Unique Looks



  • Ariella has always loved dolls and she knows other kids too.
  • She also knows that choosing a doll that best represents a person is also important.
  • The 17-year-old made it her mission to create dolls for children with unique physical appearances due to medical conditions.

Ariella Pacheco, a 17-year-old senior student at Cathedral Catholic High School, has always loved dolls when she was growing up and she knows many other girls, too.

Kids love to play dolls that resemble them or that which allows them to imagine they are always the star in a story. So, Ariella chose a doll that looked like her.

“She looked like me and I felt there was a piece of me in Ariella told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “You see yourself in a doll and it’s really special to have that connection.”

While doll-making companies have been gradually becoming inclusive in recent years with dolls of different skin and eye color, hair type, and even body shape, there are still those who are less represented — children with medical conditions that have affected their physical appearances. 

Photo Credit: Bill Wechter/ The San Diego Union-Tribune

This gave Ariella an idea to make customized dolls for children with unique physical looks. This was inspired by Amy Jandrisevits’ project called “A Doll Like Me” which echoes her same sentiments.

In her annual National Honor Society chapter project, she designed and sewed some unique dolls which she intended to donate to children who are less represented.

Photo Credit: Bill Wechter/ The San Diego Union-Tribune

She worked with the Fresh Start Surgical Gifts — a charitable organization based in Carlsbad, California — to find her young recipients. She received photos for her doll’s subject and she eventually chose 4.

She made dolls with surgical scars, facial and cranial anomalies, port-wine birthmark, and one with jaw problems.

Photo Credit: CBS 8 San Diego (Youtube)

The Fresh Start’s chief development officer, Michelle Pius, was amazed with the final product. “It was a very kind and big-hearted gesture on her part to make dolls that will help a child feel like they’re not alone,” she said.

Ariella learned how to sew through youtube tutorial videos. “The whole time I was trying to put as much love into it as I could and hoped they represented each child faithfully,” she said. “I really value the beauty in the little things. Each of these kids [is] so unique, so special… I hope through these dolls they can see themselves in a new light and really embrace their beauty.”

Source: Good News Network