THE Girlhood Experience

Posted by Precious Jewel on


As a young girl, like most girls, one very proud girlhood experience included collecting figurines. Every few months, my grandmother would gift me a new figurine to add to my figurine demonstration, which was basically a small white shelf that drooped from the wall and included all of my precious figurines.


Every so often, I would delicately select each figurine to polish. At the time, my sister and I shared a room, so I would always instruct her not to visit my side of the room, and especially not to touch either of my special gems. She would oblige. The figurines were special to me. I would not talk to the figurines like most girls do their dolls, but I did consider them to very special, especially because they were gifted to me by my grandmother, one of my very best friends. The figurines were my treasures, and I always treated them as such. My favorite was "Niyae: Birthday Girl Collection" (and I especially loved the age nine doll)!


Unfortunately, by middle school I moved with my father and former stepmother to another city for a little while. By the time I returned home, my figurines, much like my other treasures, were gone. My mom had moved us to a bigger space and figured I would not need my figurines anymore. Although I outgrew the figurines by the time I returned home, I was still a little devastated. I was not ready to let them go.

Recently, and just a few months ago, I asked my grandmother where she had purchased the figurines with hopes that I could start collecting figurines again, name each of the figurines after the prominent women in my family, store them in my memory box, and hopefully pass the figurines down to my nieces, younger cousins, and possibly future daughter(s). Figurines are a family heirloom tradition I myself would like to begin. 

After creating a list of topics to blog about (the figurine girlhood experience included), the very next day I watched a Tiktok video by one of my Tiktok mutuals (whose content I absolutely adore!!!). Natalie Wheeling (@nataliewheeling on Tiktok and @nataliewheelingg on Instagram) had a video of thrift finds. The video included black girl figurines, much like the ones I used to collect. When asked about collecting the figurines, here is what Natalie had to say:


“Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved dainty angelic little dolls. Then I discovered ones that looked like me and it made me feel beautiful as a black girl. My maternal grandfather’s family is very traditional; they have pretty antique porcelain pieces and figurines. They always had little black ones I absolutely adored. One day last year, I walked into a thrift store that I hadn’t visited in a while and saw this beautiful black angel figurine. It reminded me of the comfort things that brought me joy as a little girl. I just had to purchase it.”


"I plan to pass them down. Hopefully I have a daughter or niece who who’ll cherish them as much as I do." Natalie says. 

Did anyone else collect figurines? Let us know in the comments below!



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