OUR COLLECTION: Fulla Remix – Rockin’ Hijabistas

Two lovely ladies with their prayer rugs.

We live in a suburb of Denver named Aurora, Colorado.

It took me a while to fall in love with Aurora. I wanted to be a Downtown Girl. I bought a house downtown and that’s where I met my husband. But he’d been living downtown his entire life and wanted to be a Suburban Boy.

If you can find the right suburb, it might actually be more ethnically diverse than a city neighborhood. These days city neighborhoods tend to be either entirely gentrified upper-middle class white or entirely (targeted for regentrification) working and poverty-class black and Mexican.

Aurora is more diverse both ethnically and socio-economically than almost any Denver neighborhood. I think it must be the most diverse city in Colorado.

Aurora has a lot of hijab wearing ladies.

We see women in full Abayas or even Chadors from time to time. But we see mostly Hijabs with Westernized clothing-though very modest Westernized clothing. Actually, mostly Al-Amira – since those are pretty trendy right now. Of course, the Al-Amira and Shayla are more styles of Hijab than actual differences in coverage area. The Al-Amira is what I would wear if I was Muslim. It’s just a stretchy piece worn under the more scarf-like piece.

My Morrocan neighbors tell me the Al-Amira just means “like a Princess’. This stretchy jersey-like headpiece makes it easier to put on and keep in place and is more comfortable to many.

We had already purchased a full long black Abaya plus black Hijab for dolls. We posted earlier about Our Fulla in her traditional, head-to-toe-but-face-fully-visible Abaya and Hijab.

After I posted about Our Fulla, I had a message from the woman who owns MuslimToysAndDolls.com. I checked out her site and liked what I saw. They had clothing much more like what we see day-to-day around our beloved Aurora.

NOTE: Click on the site’s menu item “Dolls and Accessories” then click on “Islamic Doll Clothes” or just click HERE.

I spent about $30 on the site. I got two modern outfits and two prayer rugs.  The site owner called me to check on something and she called me, “Sister Kristl” a few times and it made me feel all warm inside. I don’t know why. I’m a pretty odd person when it come to stuff like that.

The order arrived today and I couldn’t wait to dress up a couple of dolls I’d set aside to become Muslim sisters.

I chose not to buy Fulla or Arrosa dolls (just their clothes) because, unfortunately those dolls tend to be light-skinned, and somewhat light-haired. They often even have light eyes. Not my cup of tea. I wanted light brown skin, black hair and brown or Ebony eyes.

My girls are Thrift Store rescues. Both are rebodied on light-skinned Liv Alexis dolls  (For light vs Dark Alexis explanations, see this post).

Disney’s Esmerelda. Why would a gypsy woman have blue eyes in the first place? Ugh. And her hair is too long for my liking.

Both heads are Disney. One is a very early version of Pocohontas. The other is an Esmerelda. Later versions of Pocohontas have her eyes much more Native-Americanized. In other words, not with tons of eyeliner as this doll clearly had.  She’s a beautiful doll, but I find she works better as a Persian or Arab ethnicity doll.

My Esmerelda had blue eyes so I colored in the Irises with black Sharpie.

Shorter hair, Ebony Eyes. Much better.

REMEMBER: Only use Sharpies over face paint, never on raw facial plastic – as it can bleed and migrate.

Two beautiful, modern, Muslim Women for Leah’s barbieland.

I am loving the outcome. I also think the outfits could work well for barbies you want to have playing older characters – mothers and such. IOW, just leave off the headscarf and the outfits are just good, wholesome outfits. Nothing like the trampy stuff we are offered in stores for BBBBarbies.

As for modern women rocking Hijabs just like my two plastic gals, a fun site to check out is called Hijabs High. It seems to be a little dormant, but even looking at older entries is fun. These human Hijabistas (that’s what the site calls them) have got it going on for sure.

A picture from the blog Hijabs High

31 Comments Add yours

  1. Tracy India says:

    They’re beautiful. I lived in Aurora, Colorado for two years…it was pretty cool. I’ve worked downtown and also 1yr for Clear Channel, Colorado. It’s a beautiful place, love how beautiful the winters are but I eventually moved back to San Diego…been here ever since. I think that was in 2000. Anyway, nice post. 🙂

    1. Tracy – that’s so cool. I could enjoy San Diego I think 🙂

  2. Paulette Richards says:

    Thank you so much for posting about hijab styles for dolls. I have been looking at Fulla dolls on eBay but hadn’t scraped together the money to buy any. I really like what you did with Esmeralda and Pocahontas. Your experience of diversity in the suburbs is really interesting. Here in the Atlanta metro area, Gwinnett county has one of the most international populations in the country. I live on the other side of the city in the historic West End. This area is predominantly black because it is next to Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark-Atlanta Universities but there is incredibly diversity within the community. The “black” population represents the entire African diaspora and the religious diversity is especially rich. We have the Shrine of the Black Madonna, an Afro-centric Christian congregation, we have a black Jewish congregation, and we also have a mosque. There are many hijabistas in the neighborhood and some of them wear the full niqab. In fact, a few years ago I customized a doll in hijab and gave it to the little Muslim girl next door. I wish I had known about Muslim Toys and Dolls then. Thanks for the link. I think I will follow your lead and buy some clothes and prayer rugs for the dolls I already have.

    1. Paulette,

      I always think Altanta might be a great place to raise a mixed child but sometimes I get the impression that Atlanta is a very bling-oriented town.

      I guess it must be like any town though – it has the different suburbs and city neighborhoods, each with their own personality and character. Your neighborhood sounds AMAZING!! All those HBCUs – you must get smarter just be breathing the air in your neighborhood.

      Don’t you just love the word “hijabistas”? I love that you customized a doll for that little girl. I’ll bet that meant so very much to her.

      The woman who runs the site is exceedlngly nice. I think you’ll enjoy your transaction.

  3. Andrea says:

    Lovely transformations!

    When I was in college, it seemed like all of the gals wearing head coverings were South/Southeast Asian. Diversity within diversity!

    (As an aside, I’m amused by the reassurance of “doll clothes by our Muslim sisters in Indonesia,” since I’ve seen many pictures of the ladies working in Mattel factories making Barbies, and there were lots of head coverings visible there, too, so the statement strikes me as a bit misleading. I’m not saying it’s not nice to have modest clothing produced by Muslim people, I’m just pointing out that lots of skimpy Barbie clothes are also being made by Muslim people.)

    1. That is diversity within diversity!

      I see lots of Somali women here wearing the hijab. I should make one of my brown ladies into a Hijabista Muslim Sister!!

      That is kind of funny about the Muslims making the skimpy clothes. I took her little note and imagined a small, home-based business, with happy, well-paid workers sitting in a quilting circle. I had “fair trade” dancing in my head as well. Your note brought me back down to earth.

      1. Andrea says:

        I am, if nothing else, a cynic (mostly-optimistic, likes dolls, but still a cynic); these might very well be as you imagined–lockstitch sewing machine stitches look like lockstitch sewing machine stitches, whatever setting the machines are in, after all!

        1. Andrea – I’m not absolutely sure I know what you are talking about.

  4. Danielle says:

    Awesome post. I’m going to share it with my friend, an Imam with a young daughter. I can’t wait to add a Muslim family to my collection. I’m all about diversity!

    1. Since you mention family – I too, am hoping to make a family. I have saved an ebay seller that crochets little Kelly clothes. When I am ready I am going to commission hats – cant think of the names – for the males.

      Then I am going to make (yes, I can’t see any way of getting around breaking out the sewing machine) and making mens outfits. I could do a long garment like the Saudi men wear (thobe) or I could do more of a Shalwar Kameez.

      Anyway, I’m thinking along the same lines as you – I need more than just a couple of Hijabistas! I need a family.

    2. http://www.muslimtoysdolls.com has over 200 Handmade Islamic doll outfits and over 800 different Muslim dolls with over twenty thousand in stoakc the largest seller in the world of Islamic dolls and Islamic doll clothes choices.i also have a site http://www.muslimtoysanddolls.com but they don’t have the thirty percent off offer going on.I lowered all three thousand products on both sites ten to forty percent cheaper and we are a charity site helping Muslims the world over.So why don’t you shop at either site and get great Islamic gifts and help your brothers and sisters at the same time,feeamani Allah,Sister Debbie Al-Harbi CEO http://www.muslimtoysdolls.com or http://www.muslimtoysanddolls.com shookrun JAK

  5. Lola says:

    When I first saw Esmerelda up there, I thought she looked a lot less scary than a lot of Esmereldas I’ve seen. Of course it’s because of the eye fix!

    One time I got a mixed bag of barbie clothes, and in it was a yellow head wrap that looked like it was intended to be something like a Niquab. I’m not sure where it is now. It was a wee bit small for the modern big-headed barbies, but it was still neat to see in a random bag of stuff.

  6. Elle says:

    http://www.mixis.com/

    Do you know of these yet (have these)? I searched your blog and it seems you haven’t posted about them. If you don’t know of them yet, I’m so excited to show you! Since your daughter is a “mix” in a substantial-in-our-culture way, I think you ladies might like them.

    I guess the slogan is “my mix is” … and the four dolls, I suppose, are supposed to look … unidentifiable? in between things? I don’t know, I just know I do not see myself (I did in the video though)! Oh well. 🙂

    1. I had heard of the Mixis. Another blogger suggested them to me a while back. I love head variety. I didn’t pursue them bc their bodies are stiff. I should give them a second look.

  7. :^) says:

    I don’t remember Esmeralda’s eyes color according to the book, but she wasn’t a real gypsy. She was kidnapped by gypsies when she was a child. So her mother was french, and she could have eyes of any color.
    The doll definitely looks better with black eyes.

    1. Hi :^),

      It’s fascinating what I learn from comments. I had no idea! I think this is another thing Disney runs into by trying to re-interpret so-called classics – they have things that are unspoken that are carried into and out the other side of their stories. I have often wondered why Esmeralda got the heave-ho. There are a number of factors I think – but most of them don’t seem like the type to bother Disney. This is a good example of that. Esmerelda was kind of the first non-European (Western European) princess, but, based on what you say, she actually wasn’t breaking the mold of the Western Europe Princess if she was a kidnapped French woman. Yikes. Well at least they kept her black hair.

      1. Unrein Neimand says:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esm%C3%A9ralda_%28The_Hunchback_of_Notre-Dame%29

        Link above to book Esme–

        Esmeralda’s eyes are green in the Disney version because they didn’t use her necklace as the explanation for her name (which means Emerald).

        Not all gypsies are stereotypically dark folks with giant hoop earrings and tambourines. Coming from a racially mixed family (white and black) that does have “gypsy” heritage on one side, I’ve always found it irritating when people make gypsies out to be “magical primitives”- similar to the “magic negro” and “noble savage” tropes. True, traditional communities tend to be insular, and the Romany have a specific “look”, but there are wide variations even there. There’s no reason that Esme couldn’t have been “native gypsy” and been pale. There’s no reason she can’t have a deep tan and be French. Unless we’re working from stereotypes alone, of course. I think what really breaks the mold about the way Esme’s depicted is that she’s the first “Princess” that saves herself– takes on a hundred guardsmen with a stick and a goat— and holds her head up with pride in the face of death. Only a few of the others are so badass (Mulan, for example, although she should have followed history and remained a General at court, with her loyal Captain as her husband. I think it was very de-empowering to change the ending of her story so that she gives up the role she was born for, to go back to being something she isn’t.).

        As far as your delightful hijabista Esme having green eyes– why not? There are green-eyed Middle-eastern Muslimas. ( http://news.az/photos/page-photo/82102.jpg , http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Persian-Iranian_girl_with_green_eyes,_rural_Iran,_09-07-2007.jpg , http://s2.hubimg.com/u/11061_f520.jpg ..etc etc etc) Her family may have been mixed or from (as these women I’ve shown) Iran or Afghanistan. Moot now, since you made her eyes black, but still.

      2. Ewa says:

        “Esmerelda was kind of the first non-European (Western European) ”
        “the mold of the Western Europe Princess ” excuse me asking bout, but to be honest I don’t know where are you going with it. Does people from Central and Eastern Europe look different tha those from Western Europe in your opinion? Less white, or less European? Poorer? As a person from Central (and not Western) Europe (some people even say that the country I’m from is in Eastern Europe, which is wrong) I find this very interesting. Can’t really understand what you mean with this “Western Europe Princess”. Mind to explain?

        You didn’t know the fairy tale about Esmeralda? I think in Europe everyone knows old european fairylates in their original, not Disney’s versions. In original version she died at the end, just like Ariel did.
        What kind of fairytales you have in USA?

        Esmeralda was a French white girl so her hair could be of any color – black, brown, red or blond, same with her eyes – blue, brown, green, everything is possible. Her skin was surely tanned as she had to live with her Gipsy kidnappers.

        1. Hello Ewa – thanks for your comments. I like to be challenged on my assumptions so I am glad you wrote. I typed the term “Eastern Europe” into Google and got to this diagram on Wikipedia, which I guess represents the United Nation’s names for the regions. So to explain “Western European Princess” – I am referring to Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle and Ariel. The were all presented as being from the region shown on that map as Northern and Western. (I had never heard of Scandinavia being called Northern until seeing this map.) Anyway, since I was not aware that Esmeralda was a kidnapped French woman, I assumed she was Roma, which I’m pretty sure would be classified as Eastern European.

          I think your most important question to me is when you ask whether, in my opinion, Eastern Europeans look different than Western Europeans. I would say YES, if you take the most prevalent eye color of France and compare it to the most prevalent eye color of Hungary – then my guess is that Hungarians are more likely to have brown eyes. I might be totally wrong about that. If I am, I need to learn more about Eastern Europe.

          I try to push for representation of the masses, not the idiosyncratic. If you read my various posts on this blog, you will notice that I am constantly fighting against the hegemony of blond hair, pale skin, and blue eyes that pervades modern culture. I don’t care that SOME Muslims have blue eyes. I care that MOST Muslims do not. I’m told that I deal too much in stereotypes when I insist that my dolls will have eye colors and hair colors that are most prevalent in the culture and skin tone represented. I’m okay with that accusation because I know what I am trying to achieve.

          If you don’t mind me asking, what country are you from?

          1. Ewa says:

            First, thank you for reply! I just found your blog, never read it before.
            Second, I’m sick and running a fever now, so please excuse me if my comment will be chaotic.

            I’m from Poland. I have very dark brown hair, very pale skin and green eyes. My father had medium dark skin, natural black hair and light blue eyes while my mother have very pale skin, dark brown eyes and medium brown hair.
            As for Europe – the key word is “brown”
            Of course one can say that Scandinavians are usually blond with blue eyes, and it will be true, but for the majority of Europe it will be different shade of brown hair, sometimes medium and sometimes dark. Eyes – usually different shades of hazel, blue, green or brown.

            A little offtopic – our skin is usually light to medium, but majority of Europens are tanning it because we are taught that pale skin is ugly and we must be tanned to look good. Mainstream media are feeding you with self hate, we are teached to use bronzers, solariums, ect. If you are as pale as I’m, you will be stopped by strangers from time to time who will tell you to get some sun. We are constantly taught to hate our look, that white skin is not attractive, even little children knows that they need to be tanned. This is so sick! I think in USA White people have it even worse, with this American tanning obsession, but maybe I’m wrong. Probably majority simply don’t think about this and just follow the mainstream and do everything to look “good” without giving it a second thought – they know that their skin must be darker if they want to look attractive so they are tanning it without guestioning why pale skin is not attractive. This is not only racist to shamed one’s skin color, is also unhealthy, as tanning leads to cancer and skin is wrinkled sooner.
            I’m very proud of my very pale skin, this is one of those thing what makes me “me”, and don’t care if I’m ugly for majority of people, I’m not going to try and fit in some racist beauty standards of people who believes in everything what USA will tell them. End of offtopic.

            Hungarian, Czech, British, Polish woman and many other too can be mistaken because of their skin shade, eye color and hair color very easily, it’s our face shape that helps us to tell who is who,(but it’s not always working), and not colors.

            Average look of women from different countries: https://leadingpersonality.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/averageface.jpg

            European women only :

            This is how looks a like an average Hungarian woman https://pmsol3.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/hungarianwoman.jpg

            According to Wikipedia Hungary is ” (83.7%) Hungarians, 308,957 (3.1%) Romani, 131,951 (1.3%) Germans, 29,647 (0.3%) Slovaks, 26,345 (0.3%) Romanians, and 23,561 (0.2%) Croats in Hungary. 1,455,883 people (14.7% of the total population) did not declare their ethnicity. Thus, Hungarians made up 98.0% of people which declared their ethicity”. I have been to Hungary as well and had a good friend from there, she had green eyes, peach colored skin and medium brown hair.

            here’s average French woman https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs194-26/fa14/upload/files/proj5/cs194-dp/data/averagefrenchfemale.jpg
            The biggest difference between French and Hungarian is skin shade, which is a bit darker for Hungarian, probably because Hungry is warmer country that France so people are often slightly tanned. Those darker Europeans you think about are probably in Southern Europe, but definitely not in Eastern Europe. This missleading concept of dark Easter Europeans was created by Hitler, and somehow still exists.

            Roma (or Gipsy) people aren’t from Eastern Europe, in fact they aren’t from Europe at all. They are minority, a Hindu people who lives in Europe but keep their own language, clothing style and culture, they are not representing any European country, culture or look.

            Here’s a photo of Moldavian couple, the boy is ethnically Moldavian and a girl is of Roma descedents
            1 http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lojlv6rIRW1qapxryo1_500.jpg
            2 http://data.whicdn.com/images/9856145/large.jpg
            It’s his look and not her the most common in this part of Eastern Europe

            Average look for a few of Western Eropean countries

            Here’s comparison between some Western European countries and Eastern European countries

            As you see, Eastern Europeans have on average paler skin then those from Western Europe.

            This blue eyed/blonded hair people are minority in ever European country except for Scandinavia, Germany and Netherlands. My country is listed on Wikipedia page as among those countries with larger proportions of blond people than other counties, but you would be dissapointed if you would came here in search for such look.Usually children have blond hair, both me and my sister had almost white hair when we where toddlers, then light brown when we were in primary school, and now, when we are in our 30’s, there’s no even one blond strand, our hair are darker then average thanks to Moldavian addmix from 1300year, when some of my ancestors came to Poland. As a tour manager for some rock bands I traveled the world pretty much, have been to majority of Europeans countries too, and I can honestly tell you that usually people you see on the streets are brown haired, mostly medium brown.I think color ratio of Kate Middleton is a good example how it looks in majority of european countires, doesn’t matter if western, central or eastern.
            I know that some Americans have specific, very streotypical image of European people, once I had a conversation with a guy from New York who informed me that Julius Ceaser wasn’t typical White guy, so blond and with blue eyes, but a guy with dark hair. I was stunned, didn’t know if I should laught or cry over his ignorance, it’s was beyond my understanding that someone would think of typical White look as of blue eyed blond, and that this person, being an American guy (so multi generation mix) decided that he can inform me, a White European about the look of Europeans.

            Also, for us, Europeans it’s not important if fairy tale is about Western, Central or Eastern Europeans, we never care about it, for us they are simply about Europeans. I think no European would ever worry about if this or that European fairy tale is from Western or Eastern part of Europe.

            As for dolls – the more diversity the better. All skin color, eyes color and hair colors, all sizes and heigh. I’m collecting mostly White and Asian dolls but buying any other too, just not as much as those listed. I think Asian and Native American dolls are very underrepresented on doll market.

            Excuse my, surely I’m repeating myself a few times, and my english is even worser than usually, hopefully you will undrestand what I wanted to write.

            1. Ewa says:

              I see tham my previous comment is still under moderation. Did it offend you anyhow? If yes, then please take my apologise, didn’t mean to write anything rude

            2. kristl tyler says:

              Ewa,

              Sorry for the late response. I learned a lot. I would say that the American pressure to be tan is definitely on the wane. I am pale. I don’t tan and people would harass me in the mid 1990s but by 2005 or so, that was over for the most part. Whenever I see celebs still doing it I pretty much feel sorry for them because they look orange.

  8. Carrie A says:

    Wow- what beautiful dolls you made. 🙂 hijab styles- I live in Arizona and it is defiently a melting pot of cultures. Now I know why the dolls looked familiar to me, they were Disney! and yes, Disney has remakes of their dolls. Sometimes not as good quality as Mattel does themselves in my opinion, but using the base from Disney and creating hijab styles is just simply awesome.

  9. Novella says:

    Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this
    post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking
    about this. I will forward this write-up to
    him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  10. Shelley greenaway says:

    genius!

    although i suspect esmerelda is a Romanian gypsy, she looks much better as someone who is of Persian or Arab ethnicity!

    1. You might be right. That would make a lot more sense. And your last sentence triggered an idea – maybe I’ll call one of these girls Persian/Shi’a and the other Arab/Sunni. that would create a nice learning opportunity for my daughter. Thanks!!

  11. I am the largest seller of Islamic dolls with hijabs and they are diverse with over 800 styles in the world.i have over 3000 products. and over 200 Islamic handmade doll outfits.i have two sites.the first site the pictures are bigger http://www.muslimtoysdolls.com and the second is http://www.muslimtoysanddolls.com feeamani Allah,Sister Debbie Al-Harbi cEO

  12. aikifox85 says:

    These are quite lovely 🙂 I appreciate the links! I’m trying to figure out how to make a hijab for my Lammily doll – that is how I found your blog.

  13. Fulla Around says:

    Hello girls. I have to say that I loved Fulla from the first sight! And I just created a new educational site for Fulla and her trips around the world. Follow her and you will find info for museums, festival, habits and countries around the world. Have a look , let me know your thoughts and join my page on Fb.
    http://www.fullaroundtheworld.com

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