Tasmanian artist Sonia Singh buys used Bratz and other similar dolls with heavy makeup from thrift shops and gives them “makeunders”—a process in which she removes the paint from the dolls’ faces, repaints them with realistic features, and dresses them in handmade clothing—to create Tree Change Dolls. The difference is startling as each doll goes through a transformation from an unrealistic, giant-eyed sexualized teen or twenty-something to a relatable, practical girl. Clothing is either hand-sewn by Singh or knit by her mother, while Singh even molds new shoes for the dolls.
While a plan for an Etsy store to sell Tree Change Dolls is in the works, Singh requests that supporters donate to the International Women’s Development Agency, an Australian women’s rights group that focuses on issues in Asia and the Pacific.
My sisters and I grew up playing with second-hand dolls and home-made toys in the beautiful Tasmanian natural environment. I love the satisfaction of repairing and reusing discarded items to give them a new lease on life.
images via Tree Change Dolls