Written by Sabine Demosthenes
MONTREAL – Do you know Qai Qai?
Have you not heard of this sweet, innocent, inspiring motivational Instagram poster?
Oh, I forgot to add that she is no pushover as well. She is the ultimate boss lady! She is like the miniature version of Anna Wintour. I imagine when you see her coming to your office, you don’t know if you should hide under the desk or talk about how nice your weekend was.
Right now, she has beef (a disagreement) with her brothers, the puppies. Since she doesn’t want to lose her role as the best friend to the CEO of her company, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. and the founders of the Williams-Ohanian Inc, she is making sure to show them who Qai Qai is!
For real, this girl is not messing around. You can see it on her Instagram feed.
Outside the family drama, Qai Qai is the doll I wished I had growing up as a black girl. Zoe, Quai Quai’s creator, was in kindergarten when she was teased because of her natural, kinky hair. This inspired her to help prevent other kids from being ashamed of their natural hair or skin color, which differed from the majority of popular dolls at the time. This led to the creation of Qai Qai and other dolls. Zoe’s goal was to empower the proud Mamas of these dolls, like Olympia, to love their skin in hopes they wouldn’t have to deal with the same issues she had in Kindergarten.
I was a big fan of Barbie but in the ’80s and ’90s. I envied her perfect, silky hair, which was so different from my own. Barbie was usually a princess or a bikini-clad beach bum without any real substance. This changed in the 2000s and I am so proud of Mattel for giving a more realistic, inspiring image to this classic doll.
In comparison, Qai Qai has this larger than life personality. She doesn’t take any crap from anyone. She reminds herself to be strong and confident. She enjoys her tutus and crazy expressions, and although she is sometimes afraid of being replaced by one of the dogs in Olympia’s heart, she maintains her confidence in talking about her feelings (I think hihi).
She is also really funny!
Maybe, if dolls like Qai Qai were an option for me in my youth, I would have been more comfortable with my hair and playing with different styles for my type of hair, than wishing I had bouncy Caucasian locks.
We must be grateful to Wlliams-Ohanian Inc. for creating fabulous dolls, Zoe’s dolls. Oh, by the way, Zoe is only 12 years old! Not even a teen and she has already created a non-profit company.
That’s a boss lady right there!
On top of all this, Zoe has a heart of gold. She is collecting unwrapped dolls and donating them to girls in need, in Haiti for example.
Qai Qai was created by a kind, thoughtful, and special little girl.
I may be 35, going 36 – a grown woman, but I still have the heart of a child. I will buy Zoe’s doll (and hug her) before I give it to my one-year-old cousin (I think I will buy 2, since her big sister may steal the doll). My hope is that they can feel proud of the skin they were born with and have Zoe and Qai Qai as role models.
Thank you Zoe, and thank you Qai Qai, for making me see there is still some kind of wonderful in this world.
Oh, please check out this video and don’t tell about it to Allstate Insurance…