Bratz dolls are notorious for being unnecessarily hyper-sexualized, which is actually really weird considering their target market is (for the most part) KIDS. But underneath all that heavy plastic makeup and gaudiness, a little girl actually does exist! We swear! Tree Change Dolls, a doll repurposing initiative started by a woman in Australia, has recreated the Bratz doll by removing every last bit of her makeup. And she looks awesome.
According to Tree Change Dolls’ Tumblr, “These dolls have been rescued and rehabilitated from op-shops and tip shops around Tasmania.” She’s taking these “rescued” dolls and giving them a more “age-appropriate,” earthy look that most little girls can actually relate to (aka, not smothered in sunset blue eyeshadow and lipliner). By repainting their faces, and hand-making their much, much tamer (and arguably way, way more adorable) outfits, she says she is giving them “a new lease on life.”
For real. Tree Change Dolls has completely reinvented the Bratz doll identity, challenging problematic beauty ideals that subconsciously affect many young girls and boys. Instead of embodying sexuality and glitz and glamor, these dolls wear overalls and play on swings and frolic in the grass. They actually LOOK like real little girls! Yay!
This make-under is totally reminiscent of Nikolay Lamm’s “Normal Barbie,” a project which raised over $500,000 and gave the world a realistic doll with realistic proportions (as well as acne, cellulite, and stretch marks!). While some freaked out by the sight of a “flawed” doll, many welcomed its normalcies, embracing a toy that actually looked a real human girl. This project, like Tree Change Dolls, confronts the crazy expectations society has of girls (and boys). Barbie and Bratz look nothing like actual humans, so maybe it really is about time we had a doll revolution. “Normal Barbie” and Tree Change Dolls are definitely on the right track.
Right now, Tree Change Dolls is in the process of opening up an Etsy store, which is super exciting. Here are some examples of the dolls you can soon totally buy:
Images via Tree Change Dolls Tumblr