Remember Sonia Singh’s Tree Change Dolls that removed the makeup from fashion dolls and repainted them to look like real girls? Now, artist Wendy Tsao has taken it a step further by removing the makeup from fashion dolls and transforming them into real-life role models! From Malala Yousafzai to my personal favorite, Jane Goodall, Tsao has recreated five different dolls complete with clothing to take on the image of a prominent woman hero. Imagine the conversations kids would be having while they play with their J.K. Rowling doll instead of say, Blue Jumpsuit Barbie?
1. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
2. Malala Yousafzai, international hero and champion for the education of girls and women.
3. Jane Goodall, world-renowned primatologist and anthropologist.
4. Waris Dirie, Somali model, actress and UN Special Ambassador to fight against female genital mutilation.
5. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first woman astronaut.
Until you really stop and look at the fashion doll’s faces in this context, it is kind of crazy how desensitized we are to the amount of makeup is placed on them. The National Association for the education of Young Children reports that 90 percent of preschool children’s play involves toys. This means that from an impressionable age, children are learning from toys, which is why a fashion doll’s face full of makeup is kind of disturbing. Young boys and girls learn that it is normal for women not to go out in public with their actual face, but with it painted with makeup.
Instead of perpetuating beauty ideals through dolls, more big toy manufacturers should start creating natural looking role models. Until that day comes, pioneers like Wendy Tsao, Sonia Singh and even Lammily’s creator Nickolay Lamm will continue to provide these important toys for children to play with to get familiarized with a better idea of what real women look like, and accomplish.
Photos via boredpanda/Wendy Tsao.
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