Lady in a Castle: A Printable Paper Doll

Marisole Monday & Friend's Logo. Fantasy paper doll. One of my pet peeves is that fantasy movies always default to the assumption that the characters involved are white-skinned. I just saw Into the Woods which I recommend highly- I am a huge Sondheim fan- and I noticed they had some brown-skinned extras which is great, but all of the main characters were white skinned.

I know one of the common arguments against skin-tone diversity in classic fantasy or fairy tales is that they are often European in origin and it wouldn’t be accurate to have brown skinned characters; however, I’m not sure the argument for “accuracy” really holds up. First of all, there was a lot more diversity in Europe a lot earlier than most people realize. Secondly, if there are going to be giants and magic, can’t we accept the idea that some of the characters might be darker skinned? Does that really deeply violate suspension of disbelief? We are talking about a genre of story with singing harps, talking animals, and pumpkin coaches.

This is all a really complicated way of saying that I try to give my fantasy paper dolls a variety of skin tones, including weird ones like green, more green and orange. Um… Is it bad I just noticed I have two green skinned paper dolls? I could have sworn one of those had blue skin. I should keep better track of these things.

A fantasy paper doll with brown skin and four gowns. She also has two pairs of shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}
Moving on from her skin tone, I stuck with the pale scheme I had planned and tried to focus on greens, blues and purples while using yellow and pink as accent colors. I think it came out pretty well, though coloring those detailed patterns took forever. Every time I add a bunch of pattern, I promise myself that it is the “last time” and then I do it again- because I really do like pattern.

Changing topic a bit, one of the most common questions I get is “Why don’t you sell your paper dolls?” I decided to answer this question for Abby of While She Naps. Abby took my thoughts about hobby and business, combined them with those of some other very talented crafters, and created a really great post about business, craft, and why we do what we do. I recommend going and reading it post-haste.

Meanwhile, Vikings are winning my “What historical period should B&B visit” poll which means, I suppose, I should go learn something about Viking dress. If you have not voted, please do. It is highly likely that I will not totally ignore the outcome. It is also highly likely it will take forever for me to get it done, because I am me.

5 comments

  1. Excellent points, both in your post regarding fairy tales and skin color, and in the linked post about why people choose not to sell their crafts. Thank you for giving my brain something to chew on.

  2. I’m so glad you posted about this. Though I am Caucasian, I like having a variety of different cultures to read about, watch on TV/movies, etc. It took me forever to find any site that had such lovely paper dolls that portrayed different ethnicities. And I LOVE them.

    I sponsor a few kids overseas (India and Sri Lanka as well as Kenya) and I wanted to send them dolls that looked like them. I didn’t realize it would be so difficult! Anyway thank you AGAIN for making these stunning dolls. I share your site with everyone I know who has daughters or nieces that love dolls.

  3. You do have a blue-skin toned paper doll. Spirit of the North is blue-skinned. I like all the different skin tones also. Anybody has the ability to relate to one or more of your paper dolls. We live in a world filled with people of many different skin tones, why not make it that way in a paper doll world? You have captured that with your paper dolls and I like it very much. It also makes it more interesting to mix and match the outfits. Thank you again for sharing your artistic and creative ideas. I always look forward to see what you will think of next. Cisco

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