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Thursday, 9 May, 2002, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
China doll challenges Barbie
The Yue-Sai Wa Wa [Yue-Sai doll] comes in a range of guises including panda protector, doctor and jewelled dancer.
The dolls were modelled on their creator
Chinese-American celebrity Yue-Sai Kan, who started marketing dolls with Asian features to China two years ago, now hopes to find the Wa Wa dolls a wider market.

Yue-Sai Kan, best known for a range of cosmetics specifically aimed at Asian women, told the BBC World Service's Everywoman programme that she decided to launch the range of children's dolls to rival the blonde haired, blue-eyed Barbie.

Yue-Sai Wa Wa panda protector
One of the doll's guises is as panda protector

She thought of the idea after visiting Chinese department stores.

"I went through the department stores and all I found was blue-eyed, blonde haired dolls," she said.

"In spite of the well worn phrase China doll there was no China doll! I was so shocked and totally upset and thought this is not good as the children in China will not have a sense of self."


"I am a role model and everything I have done, I have done with 100% honesty."

Yue-Sai Kan
Yue-Sai Kan said she hoped the Wa Wa dolls could educate Asian children about their cultural heritage and make them proud of their distinct beauty.

"How do you grow up when everything that you play with has a different standard of beauty?

"People with black hair and black eyes represents half of the world and we didn't have a representative in the doll area," she said.

The Yue-Sai Wa Wa [Yue-Sai doll] comes in a range of guises including panda protector, doctor and jewelled dancer.

With her long hair and dark eyes, the Asian Barbie rival was modelled on her creator.

"We have made her thinner," Yue-Sai said, "but she still has my flat face."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Yue-Sai Kan speaks to Everywoman
"I went through the department stores and all I found was blue-eyed, blonde haired dolls"
See also:

09 Sep 01 | Arts
Barbie goes to the Ballet
20 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Barbie eyes new horizons
08 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan bride is a real doll
05 Mar 02 | Middle East
Muslim dolls tackle 'wanton' Barbie
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