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Think of her as the bastard love child of Ken and Barbie. Feral Cheryl hails from Southeastern Australia, where the term “feral” refers to hippie-esque environmental activists. She’s the whole-grain pseudoprogeny of Mattel’s white-bread couple.

Mattel released a similar doll last year called Butterfly Art Barbie (who has, you guessed it, a butterfly tattooed on her stomach). But when a dozen or so parents complained about the doll as well as the kiddie stick-on tattoos sold with her, the company removed all piercings and tattoos from its new line of youth-rebellion Generation Girl dolls.

That leaves Cheryl standing alone in her market niche, sporting the requisite counter-culture paraphernalia: multiple tattoos, nose ring, navel ring, dreadlocks, hair beads, and a crocheted shoulder bag containing the world’s smallest dime bag (which smells suspiciously like basil). Although Cheryl is not entirely PC — she’s thin (but not emaciated) and distinctively Anglo — her proportions orbit nearer to reality than Barbie’s. And while not exactly anatomically correct, she does feature a healthy tuft of hair Down Under.

One pleased Cheryl owner wrote to the doll’s creator, “Thank you for saving the children from stupid, anorexic, dumb-blonde dolls with big boobs who wear ridiculous ’80s-style clothes!”

Now if her creator could just take it one step further and give Cheryl a domestic partner: Feral Carol, perhaps?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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