Bratz Dolls, the polarizing children's toys known for their heavy makeup, pouty lips, and ability to give sensible adults a general feeling of discomfort, have just gotten a makeover. And it's brilliant.
Artist Wendy Tsao has reimagined them as role models for young girls with some makeup removal and an outfit change.
"When you go to the toy store, you find Barbies or Bratz or Disney dolls, but there aren't inspiring figures in dolls out there," Tsao told USA TODAY Network.
So far, Tsao has created champion of girls' education Malala Yousafzai, novelist J.K. Rowling, social activist Waris Dirie, first female Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar, and British primatologist Jane Goodall. (More pictures below. All Photos: Wendy Tsao.)
This times up nicely with Mattel's release of its new "Imagine the Possibilities" spot featuring little girls imagining themselves as teachers, doctors, and business professionals with their Barbies. (Meanwhile, a joint effort between Mattel, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. reportedly consulted with feminists to create a new line of super hero dolls—but the result feels uninspired, especially when compared to these).
Tsao credits Sonia Singh, an artist who originally started giving Bratz Dolls "makeunders." Tsao will be auctioning her pieces on eBay in a few weeks, but I (along with many others) would love to a line like this mass-produced. Like with the rise of women-empowering ads (the Always #likeagirl campaign comes to mind), I'd get behind girl-empowering dolls any day.
Casting my vote for an Amelia Earhart and a Harriet Tubman, too, please.