A couple of weeks ago I uploaded a post called porn star Barbie. It was pretty disturbing so to compensate I thought I would introduce you to Feral Cheryl.
She is an Australian doll modeled after environmental protesters, who were nicknamed “ferals.” The doll has dreads, piercings, and, yes pubic hair !
The doll started life as a joke after her inventor Lee Duncan made one for her sister in 1995 as a critique of Barbie dolls. She made a few for friends and family and did a radio interview in Australia which incited a bit of a media frenzy. Cheryl was dubbed the Anti-Barbie and became so popular that Lee left her job and started making the dolls full time. She said in a an article that
“It was my opportunity to do a project that was feminist and anti-sweatshop, with everything being locally made,”.
What was essentially a backyard business was able to distribute all over the world through a burgeoning thing called the internet. Lee estimates that between 1998 and 2004 she made about 1000 dolls. There is one representing Australia in a toy museum in Spain. Another sold in Scandinavia on eBay recently for $2000. There are three songs written about Cheryl although I could only find one, and I didn’t like it enough to share.
Although started as a joke, Duncan created an alternative to the blond fashion doll: one that needs no accessories. For those of you who want to empower your children not to follow social norms and to dare to bare hair, you can order your very own Cheryl here: