A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South
Brushstrokes

Brushstrokes: Dolls Turn Into Real Role Models In the Hands of This Parent

Inspired by Tree Change Dolls by Tasmanian artist Sonia Singh, Canadian parent Wendy Tsao took her child’s over-sexualised dolls, removed their makeup and changed their overly done-up hair to turn them into role models from real life.

By creating from commonly available dolls lookalikes of real-life women of renown, Tsao explores the idea of playthings having an influential impact on the formation of one’s own identity.

“I am familiar with the notion that toys can become a source of comfort, pride and meaning for a child (and even adults). The dolls we find in toy stores today are often licenced Disney™ characters or the heroines of Hollywood blockbuster movies that capitalize on the pull of fantasy, fictional characters to young consumers. But there are real-life people who are heroes too, with inspiring stories of courage, intelligence, strength and uniqueness. Could children learn about and be inspired by them through toys?” she wonders.

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