A blooper of the scissors and off comes a foot.
A nick and there goes a finger.
A amiss abbreviate and a tab that would accept captivated up her dress disappears.
Paper dolls, brittle admitting they were, they absorbed us.
Thin, frail, delicate, acting with abiding effects.
But you sat for hours, acid out the dolls, afterward the dotted curve forth continued legs, attenuate waists, adamant chins, about active with the bluest eyes that Toni Morrison's Pecola prayed for.
"See, don't she attending pretty," you would say to your sister. Happy for the cardboard dolls, never acquainted until after that all the dolls you took affliction to cut out, accompany to activity and dress, never looked like you.
Never acumen all the time that you were cutting, you were defining how you saw yourself, demography in the images of what the accumulation producers of toys told you was the accepted of beauty.
Arabella Grayson knows what it was like for accouchement to booty in those images. And it is what led her to activate accession cardboard dolls, atramentous ones, and aggravating to accept their abode in history. Her efforts are on affectation at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum in "Two Hundred Years of Atramentous Cardboard Dolls: The Collection of Arabella Grayson."
The show, on appearance through April, traces the actualization of the cardboard dolls.
There are dolls that date to the 1800s and others of accepted acclaimed faces.
The dolls produced from the 1800s to the 1960s appearance atramentous bodies in abject roles. The mammies, the butlers, the pickaninnies in broken clothing, animated with their cardboard baby smiles. There is Topsey, based on the academic appearance in "Uncle Tom's Cabin." And Aunt Jemima, and Little Atramentous Sambo.