This Woman Takes Bratz Dolls & Transforms Them Into Role Model Dolls For Girls


Now this is what we like to see! Badass moms taking on “the system” in order to demand better role models and representations for their kids.

You may remember a while back when an Australian woman named Sonia Singh gained a lot of media attention worldwide for what she was doing to used dolls. After losing her job in the science field, Sonia says she was inspired to take on a creative project with her young daughter. They collected used and discarded dolls, and gave them a down-to-earth makeover and called them ‘Tree Change Dolls‘.

Her motive was to spread the message of recycling and thinking twice about the products we use in the environment, however it also became a powerful statement to many parents of girls who saw the Tree Change Dolls as a sort of revolution against the heavily-made up dolls marketed to young girls.

Sonia isn’t the only one re-using dolls and creating more meaningful representations. Another Aussie woman, Rebecca Millar, a mom from Melbourne, also became a viral sensation for her own doll project created for her daughter.

Rebecca’s daughter was obsessed with the Avengers but was saddened she couldn’t find any Black Widow dolls. Frustrated that in 2015 her daughter couldn’t find the right toy in this consumer-saturated world, she decided to take matters into her own hands and get creative.

She too got hold of existing dolls, wiped off their makeup and painted them to look like popular female superhero and comic book characters such as Black Widow, Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as a host of female STEM role models from TV shows and films such as NCIS and Star Trek.

Rebecca wasn’t about to wait around for Marvel to get off their butts to do something about their blatant gender problem, and created a solution herself. That’s why we have huge respect for parents like these two women, who see the problem and believe they have what to takes to make a change.

Well now we have another awesome mom to add to this list, Wendy Tsao, who openly admits she was inspired by Sonia Singh’s Tree Change Dolls and created her own idea. Wendy shares on her website that she is not blatantly ripping off Sonia’s idea, but in an interview where the Australian woman states she only has limited resources to make dolls for sale and therefore she encourages others to take on similar ideas and projects of their own like hers, Wendy believes her idea is an extension of the greater movement to make dolls that represent something more meaningful and realistic for girls.


Wendy’s series of dolls are called Mighty Girls, where she found used Bratz Dolls, wiped off their makeup and gave them a makeover to look like real life female role models. The Mighty Dolls series features women like artist Frida Kahlo, activist Malala Yousafzai, author J.K. Rowling, model and advocate Waris Dirie, anthropologist Jane Goodall, and Roberta Bondar – Canada’s first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space.

In the images shared on her website, she has included an image of the real life hero, a before picture of the Bratz doll, and the after-effect once she has been given her role model make over.

Wendy has a background in toys, as she created her own studio in 2007 called Child’s Own Studio, which makes stuffed toy based off children’s drawings. Her own experience in the toy industry coupled with Sonia’s project made for very compelling motivation for Wendy.

“When I came across Sonja Singh’s Tree Change Dolls, the controversy of a certain line of dolls being overly sexualized, I wanted to explore further the idea that toys or playthings could have an impact on one’s identity,” she said in an article on Bored Panda.


“I am familiar with the notion that toys can become a source of comfort, pride and meaning for a child (and even adults). 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. But there are real-life people who are heroes too, with inspiring stories of courage, intelligence, strength and uniqueness,” she added about the idea behind using real women as the inspiration for her range of dolls.

Under each image she uploaded to her website, she shared some quotes from each role model, and asks her followers to share their own ideas of who they think should be made into a Mighty Doll.

“We must tell girls their voices are important.”  ~Malala Yousafzai.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J.K. Rowling.

We love that Wendy has essentially found a way to disrupt the dominant toy market (as have Rebecca Millar, Sonia Singh and many other parents) and leverage it in a more empowering way. A quick look at the toy market globally shows just how important dolls like these are. Although LEGO is the the most popular and biggest selling toy product in the world, the most popular doll is Barbie. And although there may be questions and doubts about her legitimacy as a role model, Mattel still claims a Barbie doll is sold every three seconds, easily making the billion-dollar brand the world’s most popular doll for girls.


When the dominant message for young girls comes from a brand of dolls that has portrayed a very narrow standard of beauty and a superficial outlook on careers (since her launch in 1959, she has had 130 different careers which is not as inspirational as someone like Jane Goodall or Roberta Bondar who dedicate their entire lives to a cause that has a wide-ranging impact on the world as opposed to taking a job for cosmetic reasons) we have a problem. When moms decide they have had enough and take matters into their own hands in order to inspire their young girls, we have a solution.

“In this project, I repainted and re-clothed the manufactured dolls into the likeness of real, inspiring women – as young girls. As a parent, I’d love for my child to play with a young J.K. Rowling or Malala and have conversations about them,” concluded Wendy Tsao about her Mighty Dolls.

We couldn’t agree more, and believe there needs to be more of a balance when it comes to the types of representations young girls are bombarded with from a young age. Disney Princesses and Barbies are not evil, but like we’ve said many times before, when that becomes the only or dominant message about what life should look like, something needs to change.

You can see more of Wendy’s work by going to her website or checking out her Youtube Channel where she has demonstrations of how she creates her signature stuffed toys from drawings through her Child’s Own Studio. Wendy will be auctioning off some of the dolls on Ebay so be sure to follow her for updates about how you can get your hands on one of her dolls.






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