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An artist reimagined Bratz dolls as iconic women. The results? So cool.

You probably haven't seen Malala Yousafzai and J.K. Rowling quite like this before.

An artist reimagined Bratz dolls as iconic women. The results? So cool.

Are toys just ... toys? Or do they have a bigger effect?

It's a question artist and mom Wendy Tsao asked when she learned about the controversy swirling around Bratz dolls.


Photo by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images.

Some parents — and psychology groups — have argued the dolls' hyper-sexualized appearance isn't a great influence on the young girls who play with them.

"I considered the point of view that playing with Bratz dolls or Barbie dolls does not affect a child's body image," Tsao told Upworthy. "This led me to wonder whether a doll does have an impact on a child's view of herself and of the world."

That wonder sparked the project that's now making waves across the web.

Tsao created "Mighty Dolls," an art series that transforms Bratz dolls from their original state into iconic women.

Inspired by artist Sonja Singh, Tsao took the concept of reimagining Bratz and added her own twist: "Mighty Dolls" are what happens when you turn Bratz dolls into powerful, influential women.

What would happen if a kid had, say, a little Malala Yousafzai to pal around with?

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai became a champion for global girls education after being shot by the Taliban in 2012 for simply trying to attend school. Learn more about her here. Photo used with permission from Wendy Tsao.

Or the Harry Potter author/Queen of Twitter J.K. Rowling?

"Badass" and "best-selling author" go hand in hand for J.K. Rowling. Learn more about her here. Photo used with permission from Wendy Tsao.

What if a kid became besties with a mini Jane Goodall?

If anyone has built up some good karma, it has to be animal-loving, peace-making Jane Goodall. Learn more about her work here. Photo used with permission from Wendy Tsao.

Or helped make the world a better place with Waris Dirie?

Activist, author, model, actress, United Nations Special Ambassador ... no one does it better than Waris Dirie. Learn more about her work here. Photo used with permission from Wendy Tsao.

"The dolls we find in toy stores today are often licensed Disney characters or the heroines of Hollywood blockbuster movies that capitalize on the pull of fantasy, fictional characters to young consumers," Tsao wrote for Bored Panda.

"But there are real-life people who are heroes, too, with inspiring stories of courage, intelligence, strength and uniqueness. Could children learn about and be inspired by them through toys?"

If interest in the dolls is any indicator, then the answer is a resounding yes.

"Mighty Dolls" have set the Internet ablaze.

"People from around the world have been sending me their support for the idea and their interest in the dolls," Tsao told Upworthy. "The idea is resonating — especially with many women."

The good news? You have a shot at owning one yourself. The dolls will be up for auction on eBay, and anyone interested in submitting a bid (can you think of a more perfect holiday gift for a niece or nephew!?) should stay tuned on Tsao's website.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less