There’s a good chance you’ve played with dolls at some point in your life. They’re a popular toy for kids, and they’re not just for girls. Boys play with them all the time too, even if they do refer to them as ‘action figures.’
These toys are an important part of many people’s childhood, but they can affect our ideas of beauty and self-image a lot more than you might realize. That’s why one artist is removing the makeup on every doll she finds to make them as realistic as possible.
Unrealistic Body Goals
Dolls are often marketed as presenting the ideal image of attractiveness. The female models are usually covered in makeup and have disproportionate bodies, while the male figures are generally more rugged and macho with muscles on their muscles.
The thing is that most people don’t grow up to look like that. These toys set unrealistic expectations of what you should look like as an adult, and that can lead vulnerable people to develop eating disorders and other unhealthy problems.
Making A Difference
To try and combat the negative self-image that these toys can create, Ukrainian artist Olga Kamenetskaya has taken to altering the faces of any doll she can find. She hopes that by taking away the makeup and painting a face that’s truer to form, it might set a better example for those who play with them. Although she uses whatever dolls she finds, she tends to go for ones which have very exaggerated facial features. The more makeup they’re already wearing, the bigger a difference she can make when she does her own painting.
Becoming Her Career
When Olga began her work, it was merely a hobby to try and improve her skills. However, ever since people have seen what she’s capable of, it’s now become more of a job. More than 60,000 people follow her on Instagram, and it’s allowed her to start charging people to have their own custom creations made. The transformations she’s managed to achieve have been incredible. All her works look immensely more realistic than their original designs, although some of them definitely border on being uncanny valley.
As Olga continues to change the way we perceive beauty in our dolls, let’s hope that the toy manufacturers become more diverse in their understanding of beauty. Change appears to be happening, but it’s still at an alarmingly slow rate.