Over the years, there has been more controversy over the types of dolls that are owned by young girls. Many people feel that Barbie dolls or Bratz dolls are hypersexualized and don’t provide good role models for girls to look up to. In an attempt to start changing the world of dolls, artist Wendy Tsao has done something amazing.
Tsao, an artist from Vancouver, Canada, took off the excessive makeup from Bratz dolls and transformed them into various inspirational women across the years. She felt that young girls needed better role models, and she wanted to spread the message to children that “these remarkable women were once children too and that everyone has a potential.”
Some of her inspiration came from a children’s book about Jane Goodall because she “realized that kids would identify more with [that] version of Jane Goodall, a child just like themselves.”
She was also inspired by another artist, Sonia Singh, from Australia. Singh performs “make-unders” of hypersexualized dolls, and this inspired Tsao to take Singh’s work to the next level by actually modelling the dolls after real women. She calls her creations Mighty Dolls.
Multiple noteworthy women have been featured as one of her Mighty Dolls, including: Anthropologist Jane Goodall; author J.K. Rowling; Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai; the first female Canadian astronaut, Roberta Bondar; artist Frida Kahlo; and social activist/model Waris Dirle.
Tsao hopes that by modeling these dolls after real, inspirational women, children will recognize the amazing real-life things these people did and will, in turn, appreciate the potential that lies within every one of us.
Tsao says, “We ‘outgrow’ our toys — be it a Bratz doll or Disney princess doll. It’s hard to imagine feeling the same about Malala [Yousafzai]. Can you outgrow Malala?” I’d like to think the answer to that is “no,” that we would look up to these women and continue to want to grow and fill their shoes. Of course, this isn’t an easy feat, but we should definitely be encouraging young girls to try for anything; they should know that they are capable, that it can be done. A toy like the Mighty Dolls is a great way to spread this message, and I hope to see these dolls dominating toy stores shelves in the future.