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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.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.