A happy thing for Easter weekend

Anyone paying attention to the news yesterday has reason to worry, and to pray, since, in short, we lost, and lost big time.

But this Easter weekend let’s also not lose sight of good people doing good things, too. A little thing may inspire many. A little thing may bring joy to many. A little thing may shine a light to a greater truth.

Take, for instance, the story of the Tree Change Dolls.

Since I don’t have a daughter and my nieces were past the age of playing with dolls by the time the dolls were introduced in 2001, I only became aware of the horrible Bratz years ago standing in line at the local Marshalls. The Bratz look jaded and are made to look like ho’s, complete with extreme eye make-up, exaggerated lips and hooker boots. They are aimed at the pre-teen market, for an age where children are sexualized early on.

The Bratz are very popular, popular enough to spin off equally dreadful Bratz Babies.

I’m glad no child has asked me to give her one as a gift.

In a totally unrelated turn of events, over in Tasmania (the land down under from the Land Down Under), an artist named Sonia Singh was laid off her job. As a way to make a little money until she found a new job, she decided to buy discarded Bratz at a second-hand shop, give them a make-under (the Bratz come made-OVER, way over), dress them in hand-made clothes, and sell them on Etsy. The dolls actually look happy.

Behold, the Tree Change Dolls.


Ms Sing erases the original ghastly makeup, redoes the hair, and dresses them in hand-made clothes (her mom knits the little sweaters and hats).

The Tree Change Dolls are a huge success:

Within hours of the auction launch for the two dolls — one brunette doll in a sweater vest and jeans, and a blonde figure in a knit sweater and pencil skirt — each has collected bids exceeding $79 USD.

The winning bids for those two dolls were US$233.39 and US$167.25, not including shipping.

Ms Sing, who reportedly turned down an offer from a Spanish toy manufacturer, does video tutorials for the crafts-inclined, and is marketing knitting patters, coloring books, posters and greeting cards. Her Tumblr page features the story of each doll, including the one in the above photo,

This lovely doll was donated by the class teacher Grant Williams after I was invited to come along and give the class a demonstration on upcyling dolls. My visit generated a lot of discussion in the classroom (and at home) and the students helped me to develop a character for the doll while I demonstrated repainting her face. I decided it would be great if the class also choose the good cause that the doll could raise money for. They chose the Tasmanian Land Conservancy.

Ms Sing is making a powerful statement: through her own creativity, she’s pointing out that the innocence of childhood shines through in spite of all, and she’s touching the hearts of people across the world.

On this Easter weekend, while we pray about the big things, let’s be glad about the little things.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s blog.