5 Dolls of Inspirational Women You'll Wish You Had as a Kid

October 16th 2015

Diana Crandall

Wendy Tsao has worked for the past eight years taking children’s artwork and turning the drawings into real playthings, called Softies. Recently, she developed “Mighty Dolls,” which are dolls that depict the childhood of real-life inspirational women.

"I wonder if a child who plays with a doll of someone who is a real person, who did some amazing things, when they grow up might think more about real-life things, and appreciate more the real potential that lies within all of us, than when she or he plays with say, a Disney character or Bratz doll," Tsao told Seventeen.com.

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According to ABC, Tsao developed the series after seeing the project “Tree Change dolls,” a type of “made-under” Bratz doll collection created by artist Sonia Singh. Tsao was inspired by the altered Bratz dolls, scrubbed and re-painted to be more realistic and relatable to the children who want to play with them.

Mental Floss reports that Tsao began with "refurbished" dolls, who were simply scrubbed and re-purposed, with a rewritten back story. For example, Abby gets in trouble for reading under the covers, and Abby wants to study dolphins when she's older.

It wasn't a far leap then for Tsao to start modeling the dolls after famous, inspirational women like Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, or "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling.

Tsao told Seventeen she hopes the dolls inspire children to see that all exceptional women were once children, too.

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"Perhaps a child can't appreciate these role models, because these women are famous adults. Maybe we need to show children that these remarkable women were once children too,” Tsao told Seventeen. “And that everyone has potential."

According to comments on her website, Tsao is planning on auctioning off the dolls in a few weeks on eBay. “I’m interested in doing special requests too,” Tsao wrote on October 9. “Please contact me [email protected] to discuss."

Here are five examples of Tsao's amazing dolls:

1. Roberta Bondar, first Canadian woman in space

2. Malala Youzafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner

3. Jane Goodall, celebrated British primatologist

4. Waris Dirie, author, activist, and model

5. J.K. Rowling, British author and author of "Harry Potter"