Meet the 12-Year-Old Trailblazer Fighting for Equality in Kids’ Books
Marley Dias couldn't find enough children's stories featuring people who look like her, so she's working to change that—and getting famous in the process.
Photos by Sandra Whittington
Marley Dias, who is 12, arrives in New York’s Fashion District wheeling a suitcase filled with blazers, sneakers, and ten pairs of eyeglasses. She’s traveled in a town car from her home in New Jersey to be photographed for a publication that is presenting her with an award in November, which will debut this winter. She’s wearing a translucent pink plastic pair of glasses, Converse, a three-quarter-length baseball tee, and cut-off jeans.
Dias’s publicist hugs her and steps back like a mother surveying her daughter who’s just come back from college, commenting on how tall Dias has grown. The publicist introduces Dias around to the camera crew, who has been toying with the placement of stacks of books against a stark white backdrop. There’s a lot of chatter at once as the makeup artist and stylist size up Dias and lead her into the dressing room for privacy. The windowsill is lined with clip-on bows and jeweled hair accessories. Tomboy suits hang off the clothi…