According to Merriam-Webster, a brat is a child; specifically: An ill-mannered annoying child. <a spoiled brat>. Why anyone would promote this attitude or willingly identify with such a moniker is beyond me, but one such American company has made significant bank with Bratz.
With their overtly sexual nature, poor representation of what a human being should strive for in life (Really? Being a brat?), and as a toy marketed to girls who are already bombarded with societal expectations of who and what they’re supposed to be and become, and the unattainable, airbrushed perfection of female celebrity, Bratz have pretty much been on my bad side since they were introduced back in 2001.
What is Bratz, you ask? Well, if you don’t know, consider yourself fortunate, for they are unnecessarily sexualized, hideously caricatured and primarily female characters (but wait– of course there are now Bratz Boyz, Bratz Babyz and Bratz Petz, too) who have a variety of merchandise, including their own lines of ‘fashion’ dolls, clothing, games and DVDs– they even have music albums from their animated adventures (ew, gross). The extent of sexualization of these children’s toys has also been noted by the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. Does that sound like a toy you’d give any child as a gift?
Enter Tree Change Dolls, an artist from Tasmania who is both environmentally conscientious (reduce, reuse, recycle!), and is also making a statement by making silk purses out of sow’s ears. How? Take a gander at the image below:
According to Tree Change Doll’s tumblr, she finds toys and dolls (different types, actually, but the Bratz transformation, as pictured, are some of the most stunning and drastic) in resale shops, then cleans and rehabs them for a new life, which includes painting their little dolly faces with less exaggerated, and more naturalistic, features.
One of my favorite aspects of the transformation from Bratz to Beauty are the charming little outfits that the artist’s mother creates for the dolls: Customized little crocheted and stitched ensembles that are tiny pieces of art in their own right (as a seasoned seamstress, sewing doll clothing isn’t as easy as one might presume, despite the small quantity of fabric needed).
Do you have an opinion regarding Bratz merchandise? These makeovers? The overall state of toys, positive or negative, available these days? Let us know in the comments!