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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.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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