One of the most fascinating things about Tree Change Dolls is the response to them. On the day I discovered them, the Facebook page had 23,000+ likes. I checked again at intervals, during the day, and every time, there were about 10,000 more likes. Today, three days later, there are 84,580.
The comments were my favorite part – the dolls look happy, the dolls look like my children’s friends, and (the best) “The dolls look like you gave them back their childhood.”
The rapid, overwhelmingly positive (even emotional!) response to these dolls, world-wide, says a LOT.
A lot about toys – who’s selling them, and to whom? How could a Bratz doll possibly be a good idea? Who is the person who thought it was? Why did so many people believe this person and buy the dolls?
A lot about women – women are buying the Bratz dolls, women are hating the Bratz dolls, women are LONGING for Tree Change dolls for their daughters and even for themselves. Women are still, after centuries, struggling against the disintegrating apathy of that losing fight to be equally human, equally valued in their natural state.
A lot about problems – what Sonia is doing seems simple and obvious, now that she’s thought of it and showed us how she did it. It’s not high-tech, or expensive, and although her artistic skills are a gift, the project itself can be done by someone who isn’t as talented. Why didn’t it occur to us before? How can the weight of a cultural trend become so heavy? If we are so relieved to see it shattered, why must we allow it in the first place? Why didn’t we all think of this, on the very first day the very first Bratz doll came out?
But perhaps the most thought-provoking response came to me from someone I know, who said, when he heard about the dolls, that it’s not that easy when it’s a person – not a doll – that you are trying to rescue. We all want the darkness washed away, don’t we? You’d think so, until you actually tried to help someone who needed the help.
I don’t argue that. Not at all. Never forget that if solving the problem were simple, the problem would already be solved.
I think that explains the powerful response to Sonia, rescuing one little doll at a time.
We wish it could happen for us that way. We wish we could heal our loved ones so simply, so gently, and so completely. We wish that we ourselves could be so well healed.
So we click on Sonia’s video and watch her do it again – watch her wash the make-up off the tiny face, paint the eyes, and the smile, and the freckles, watch her mom knit the tiny sweater and sew the tiny skirt, and we see the recreated doll sitting in the grass in Sonia’s garden. Sitting there for all of us who wish we could make it to that place ourselves. Clothed and in our right mind. In the garden.