This mom’s “rescue” dolls are combatting all kinds of beauty standards

When Emma Cayley, a UK-based mother of two, saw the dolls that her daughter was playing with, she was concerned.

“As a mother of two young children, I was increasingly uneasy about the dolls my daughter was playing with: especially Bratz dolls, but also Barbies and Moxies,” she told Exeter Express. “I felt that they promoted unrealistic standards of female beauty and an unhealthy body image to young girls.”

Emma especially noticed the intense sexualization of the Bratz dolls, especially. “In particular the Bratz dolls have very large and prominent mouths and enormous eyes,” she told Exeter Express.

Emma decided to take action in the best way: by giving the dolls a revamping, DIY style. She started buying the dolls at charity shops, yard sales, and online and giving them a “make-under” to sell them to other moms online, calling them “Devon Rescue Dolls.” Using acrylic paints, she repaints the dolls, then uses matte and glosse varnishes to set the faces, giving them a hand-painted look. Her mother also sows new (adorable) outfits.  

“My repainted dolls have realistic eyebrows, smaller eyes, thinner and smaller mouths. . . freckly faces and little glasses, and I name each one,” she told Exeter Express. “I also specialise in making custom dolls that look like their owners.”

She also has created dolls with specific features, like birthmarks, cleft lip and palate scars, and alopecia, after being inspired by the #ToyLikeMe campaign, she said. “I really feel as though these dollies needed to be rescued which is partly how the name of the brand came about,” she told Exeter Express.

At first, Emma sold her dolls online entirely before they were spotted by a Exeter’s local Jelly store. Earlier this year, the store began selling them.

However, if you want to buy one but can’t exactly travel over to Exeter, you can buy them on the Devon Rescue Dolls Etsy shop for approximately $30 to $40, and you can get your own custom-made creation. In fact, Emma even assists her followers who have tried to repaint their own dolls but need a little help.

We absolutely LOVE this idea and are all for creating dolls that reflect who our girls really are — not what the media wants them to be. Thanks, Emma, for fighting the good fight!

(Images via Twitter.)

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