Barbie Gets a Makeunder! Meet the Tree Change Dolls

The Tree Change Dolls are an innovative – and positive – alternative to the usual Barbie!

By Diane Small

After she was made redundant, the very charming and humble Sonia Singh decided to play with dolls again. But his time, she was determined to give old dolls a new life; one that speaks to little girls in a way they could understand.

Sonia purchased second hand dolls and recycled them into new toys by taking off their industrial quantities of makeup and repainting their faces to give them zero-makeup looks. Her mother then created new outfits for the dolls that reflect what little girls may actually wear: dungarees, dresses and sweaters.

The results are astonishing. Rather than the hyper-sexualisedBratz‘ or Barbie doll‘ looks that suggest the physiques of a 25-35 year old woman, Sonia’s dolls, using the exact same base as commercially produced dolls, seem to be aged around 10. And guess what? Little girls love them!

“This one looks like my friend,” says one. “They seem to be closer to my age,” says another. Clearly, Tree Change Dolls are far more relatable than anything Mattel has produced of late, and demand is off the charts: Sonia can barely keep up with the demand caused by her Facebook images of the dolls having gone viral.

We love that the dolls are recycled, but it seems inevitable that a larger company will take over manufacturing Tree Change Dolls from scratch. But at least they won’t look like the Kardashians out on a night on the town! Given the sexualisation of young girls in the media (and in toy stores!) these days, we think the Tree Change Dolls are very welcome breath of fresh air.

Do you know of any other dolls that send a similar message? Let us know in the comments section, below!

Diane Small
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