Australian mother Sonia Singh did not set out to make a political statement. She is just a woman who loves dolls, and saw something still beautiful in broken and discarded “fashion dolls” — particularly the hyper-sexualized Bratz line.
Armed with nail polish remover, homemade molding clay and hand-knit clothing (courtesy of mum), Singh gives dolls “make-unders,” removing the hypersexualized adult make-up and exaggerated features, and replacing them with a “more down-to-earth natural-looking style” that turns the dolls into toys that look like the girls that play with them.
Photos of the dolls went viral on the Internet and became massively popular with parents who see them as an antidote to the overt sexualization of girls toys. Sonia says that “I’ve heard a lot of comments from people saying, ‘These are the kind of dolls I want my children to play with.’ ”
But it’s not just the parents that love them. As one young fan said, “[They are] probably nicer to play with. You can kind of think that they are the same age as you.”
Sonia is selling the few dolls that she has made via Etsy and eBay, and has started a Facebook page and a Tumblr blog so that fans can follow her work.