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Doll modelled after Canada's first Black female interventional cardiologist


A company is making dolls that celebrate diversity and inclusion, with one of its latest designs honouring a Montrealer paving the way for Black women in her medical specialty.

Dr. Alexandra Bastiany is Canada's first Black female interventional cardiologist.

Diva Dr. Alex, created by Montreal company Brown Diva Dolls, looks just like her -- completely with scrubs, a stethoscope and thick-framed glasses.

"They say if you can see it, you can be it," said Bastiany, who currently works at a hospital in Thunder Bay, Ont.

She says she feels honoured to be featured as a Diva Doll.

"As a young girl [...] I didn't have any Black doll [that was a] doctor or an engineer or anything fabulous or out of this world," Bastiany told CTV News.

According to Bastiany, it was important her namesake doll stayed true to her skin tone and hair.

"In the last few years, Black women and men learned how to embrace our natural curls, our natural pattern, because it was previously considered as non-professional."

Montreal company Brown Diva Dolls' new design is inspired by Canadian doctor Alexandra Bastiany. (Photo: Brown Diva Dolls)

Designing dolls with a variety of skin tones, hair and features not often seen on store shelves is what Brown Diva Dolls is all about, according to its founder.

"The last generation like me, I never had that doll, so now we want that next generation to have a doll where they can see themselves, where they can find their textures of hair," said Clara Lewis.

A social worker for nearly three decades, Lewis saw first-hand how representation matters.

Without it, she says children can end up with low self-esteem or limiting beliefs.

She started Brown Diva Dolls to change the narrative.

Lewis now has 17 different dolls in her line, including the doll inspired by one notable doctor.

"We wanted all the little girls to see themselves as Dr. Bastiany," she said. Top Stories

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