By Valerie Miller
Roam the aisles at your local toy store and you’ll notice a very specific layout. One section will be pink, purple and pastel, the other will be dark blue, green and closer to primary colors.
The difference is gender. Girls get the fluffy, flirty section and boys get the rough and tumble, war, trucks, wrestling section.
In this video, Tasmanian scientist turned artist Sonia Singh is turning the idea of gender sexualization on its head. What once were excessively done up dolls with unrealistic proportions, heavy make up and overtly sexy outfits, are now a reflection of the typical little girl.
Sonia up-cycles dolls she’s found in second hand shops and transforms them. Most of her projects are turning used Bratz Fashion Dolls into something more innocent.
It all starts with a dab of nail polish remover:
“It was never my intention to make a particular statement about these dolls. What Tree Change Dolls is all about though is giving some old toys a new lease on life and you know a more down to earth, natural looking style.”
Then Sonia gives them a full make-under, painting on her own faces, focusing on what makes children pure and simple. Clear bright eyes free from make up and imperfections like freckles, moles and even tooth gaps are then added with the gentle stroke of a paint brush.
“I think when it started really going off is when someone put it on Reddit.”
She uses clay to create accessories and her mother Silvia gets to work knitting tiny outfits for each creation. The products are dolls that reflect the population they serve. Simple, pure little creations that better represent who and what little girls should be when they’re still young enough to enjoy playing with dolls.
Now Sonia works monthly to create a doll to benefit charities. On her blog, Sonia says,
“Each month we auction a doll for a different cause.”
During April 2015, The Tree Change Doll auction will benefit The Tasmanian Land Conservancy, which purchases and conserves land and precious ecosystems. 80% of the money raised will be donated to the charity.
What do you think about Sonia Singh’s project turned social statement? Are the dolls a reflection of the girls in your life? Tell us what you think. Share your comments below.