A few weeks after Poppy was born I saw the viral video of #likeagirl, it was an upsetting realisation that Poppy would be growing up in a world where being a girl is still a negative and that girls and women are still fighting for equality.
A world where media portrays an image that girls should look perfect all the time and worst thing is that the media creates the false and unattainable image of this perfection.
I remembered my insecurities as a teenager, being desperate to hide or change them before I came to accept my features and be ok with them. It filled me with incredible sadness that one day she might feel the same insecurities because the media is telling her that she isn’t perfect just the way she is. That she must change the way she is in order to be successful and for her peers and boys to like her.
I know that gradually this is changing but it will be a long struggle. It needs children to be taught that being themselves is ok, in fact it’s more than ok. That’s where your strength lies no matter what people tell you.
As Poppy is becoming more and more aware of the world around her and is absorbing every single bit of it, I am so conscious of how experiences will shape who she is and my responsibility to that growth.
I can of course control most of these influencers at the moment and one way that I intend to do this is through her play. She is now at the stage where she properly plays with toys, ploughing the sitting room floor with her favourite red tractor for hours or feeding her dolly a bottle. When I was little I had a fabulous collection of barbies that I would play with for hours. Playing house with Barbie and Ken, hosting wedding ceremonies and parties, dressing Barbie up in all manner of outfits and driving Barbie and Ken around in their soft top car. Looking at Barbie now I think what a gross version of a woman she is. Plastered in makeup and in a perpetual tip toed state, not to mention her ridiculously proportioned figure. This really isn’t the kind of message I want to start my daughter off with but I truly loved playing with dolls. So I started searching for dolls that accurately reflect a normal woman and stumbled upon Ruthie Dolls on Facebook.
The dolls are all upcycled from their pretty grotesque initial creations and have new, natural faces re-painted by supremely talented portrait artist Katie Chappell and sweet clothes made for them by seamstress Ruth M.
Katie has such an incredible eye for detail and breathes wonderful personality into the dolls. Each being totally different with individual characteristics. I have found many other upcycled dolls during my searches but these are truly the most beautifully and accurately re-painted.
Here are some of the transformations…
The outfits on the ‘Before’ dolls are pretty scary aren’t they? The ‘After’ images are almost unrecognisable! It just shows what the manufacturers are choosing to sell rather than what they responsibly could produce.
I love that these dolls are given a new lease of life instead of being thrown away.
This is the doll that I decided to get for Poppy. We have called her Evie…
Unruly dark hair, bushy eyebrows and green eyes. Just like Pops.
I hope this little gesture will go a little way to help my daughter grow into the confident, incredible person I know she will be.
Love you Pops x