As much as we enjoyed playing with dolls as little girls, we know how unrealistic their physical appearances could be. These toys typically sport slim bodies, flawless skin usually packed with makeup, and perfect facial features that even movie stars will envy.
We failed to recognize this as children because all we cared about then were games and playtime. But as we grew older, we realize that none of those dolls ever looked like actual people.
While seemingly harmless, this phenomenon could create a host of self-image issues in young girls. And that’s exactly what this Ukrainian artist named Olga Kamenetskaya wants to dispel: the myth of perfection.
Olga collects overly made-up dolls—mostly Ever After High and Monster High dolls— repaints and transforms them to mimic the appearance of everyday folk.
She starts by wiping the makeup off their faces to create a blank slate. From there, she begins to work her magic. The artist alters their ridiculous proportions by making their eyes smaller, their lips less plump, and their noses wider. Sometimes, she also reconstructs their face structures by softening the angles of their cheekbones.
Using the knowledge she gained from the beauty courses she took, Olga breathes new life into these inanimate objects and gives them more authentic characteristics, such as wrinkles and freckles.
Olga removes their glossy sheen and repaints the layers with matte paint. She also gives them a glimmer in their eyes and human-like expressions to enhance the realism of her artworks.
And the results? Dolls that actually resemble human beings!
“I don’t like when the new face of the doll is ideal and perfectly symmetrical, it makes it lifeless,” she said in an interview with Vogue. “I always deliberately leave some flaw that may not be noticeable to everyone, but [gives] the doll invisible charisma. Perhaps, this flawed beauty is the message that my dolls carry.”
While accomplishing such an outcome requires great skill, people who see the reimagined dolls have mixed reactions. Some are pleased with her work, while others want to run as far away as they could from the dolls.
“Some people are scared by the realism of my dolls; they find them terrifying,” Olga said.
Besides repainting the dolls, Olga— whose seamstress mother taught her to sew—also creates garments for the modified figurines.
Luckily for those who want to try their hands at doll repainting, Olga was generous enough to share video tutorials of her creative process. You can find these instructional materials in her Etsy shop. The lessons include a class on repainting dolls and a couple of videos showing how to style different wigs types.
If you’re interested in purchasing one of Olga’s remodeled figurines, you may get them on her Etsy shop. She also shares interesting before-and-after photos of the dolls on Instagram, so be sure to follow her there.
Check out the gallery below to see some of the most amazing dolls transformations by Olga Kamenetskaya.
What do you think of these reimagined dolls? Let us know in the comments!